UPDATE: 4 p.m., Dec. 18 ― The Yemeni mother of a toddler being treated at a California hospital obtained a waiver to visit her son, Abdullah, Tuesday after her family’s story spread across social media.
She is expected to arrive in the U.S. by Wednesday evening, the Center for American-Islamic Relations said. Her son, who is 2, is not expected to live much longer.
“This is the happiest day of my life,” said the boy’s father, who explained that he debated ending Abdullah’s life support last week when it appeared his wife would be unable to visit.
“This will allow us to mourn with dignity,” he said.
A California man on Monday begged the U.S. State Department to allow his wife into the country to see the couple’s reportedly terminally ill 2-year-old son.
Ali Hassan, 22, is an American citizen who says his wife has been barred from the country due to the Trump administration’s travel ban, which restricts visa applicants from the Muslim-majority nations of Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
The boy’s mother, 21-year-old Shaima Swileh, is a native of Yemen who lives in Egypt, according to the Council for American-Islamic Relations, which is advocating on behalf of the family.
Hassan had brought the toddler, Abdullah, to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, a few months ago for treatment for a genetic brain condition.
According to CAIR, doctors have said that Abdullah cannot endure life support for much longer.
“My wife is calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold her son,” Hassan said at a tearful press conference Monday.
“For the one last time ― time’s running out. Please help us. I am here today for your support to help bring my family together for the one last time,” he said.
In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in late June to uphold the travel ban, which was the Trump administration’s third attempt to crack down on immigration from select nations. Critics say the ban unfairly targets Muslims, while the measure’s supporters claim it strengthens national security.
Swileh has applied for a waiver in order to see her son, CAIR said.