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News > U.S.

Yemeni Boy Whose Mother Fought Trump Travel Ban, Dies

  • Yemeni Boy Whose Mother Fought Trump Travel Ban, Dies

    Yemeni Boy Whose Mother Fought Trump Travel Ban, Dies | Photo: Council on American Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley.

Published 29 December 2018

Abdullah Hassan, who was on life support by the time his Yemeni mother was granted a visa to see him one last time, has died.

Two year-old Abdullah Hassan, the Yemeni boy who struggled for life while his mother valiantly fought the Trump travel ban in order to see her son, has tragically passed away after being on life support for over a month.


Trump Travel Ban Prevents Yemeni Mother From Seeing Dying Son

Hassan succumbed to a genetic brain condition Friday at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations.

His mother, Shaima Swileh, was originally prevented from traveling to the US due to the White House travel ban that restricts Yemeni nationals from entering the country. 

Her husband, Ali Hassan - a US citizen, flew with their son (an only child) to the US on October 1 seeking treatment for the boy's genetic brain condition.

Hassan, made a public plea to President Donald Trump to expedite his wife's visa application so she could have the chance to see her son one last time. 

She was granted a visa by the US State Department last week only after a hospital social worker reached out to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who in-turn sued the Trump administration on Dec. 16, according to Basim Elkarra, executive director of the group in Sacramento. 

Doctors had previously told Hassan that patients like his son are usually on life support for two or three weeks, whereas Abdullah had been on a ventilator at the Children's Hospital for more than a month.

"We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives," Hassan said. "We want to thank everyone for your love and support at this difficult time. We ask you to kindly keep Abdullah and our family in your thoughts and prayers."

"Ali and Shaima are in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn the loss of dear Abdullah," Saad Sweilem, a civil rights attorney with CAIR, said. "With their courage, this family has inspired our nation to confront the realities of Donald Trump's Muslim Ban. In his short life, Abdullah has been a guiding light for all of us in the fight against xenophobia and family separation."

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