Yemeni mother unable to see her dying 2-year-old due to Trump's travel ban, advocates say

"My wife's calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold her son for that one last time," said the father, a U.S. citizen whose son is in a California hospital.

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By David K. Li

A Yemeni woman is barred from seeing her 2-year-old son who is reportedly dying in a California hospital because of the Trump administration's travel ban against people from several mostly Muslim-majority countries, advocates for the family said Monday.

The boy, Abdullah, suffers from a genetic brain condition that has continued to worsen. His father, Ali Hassan, a 22-year-old from Yemen who is an American citizen, brought his son to the U.S. for treatment, according to the Council on American–Islamic Relations, a nonpartisan advocacy organization.

Doctors at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland believe the child does not have much longer to live, CAIR and the father said.

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Abdullah Hassan, 2-years-old at UCSF's Benioff Chidren's Hospital, Oakland.Courtesy Ali Hassan

Although the father is a citizen and has family in California, his wife and Abdullah's mother, 21-year-old Shaima Swileh, has been unable to come to the U.S. because of the travel ban that has been in effect for a year and which was upheld by the Supreme Court in June. Swileh is a Yemeni national living in Egypt.

The administration's order, which replaced two earlier versions blocked by lower courts, bans travel to the U.S. from seven countries, five of which are predominantly Muslim: Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

The family has requested a waiver for Swileh but so far has not received one, CAIR said.

"I'm here today because my son Abdullah needs his mother," Hassan told reporters in Sacramento. "My wife's calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold her son for that one last time."

Abdullah Hassan, 2-years-old, and dad Ali Hassan at UCSF's Benioff Chidren's Hospital, Oakland.Courtesy Ali Hassan

The little boy is kept alive by a ventilator and may have only weeks or less to live, the family's advocates said.

"Time's running out please help us get my family back together again. As you know my wife was denied [entrance] to the United States to see our son," Hassan said. "So I am here today for your support and help bringing my family together for that one last time."

A representative for the State Department could not immediately be reached for comment.