Yemeni Mother Lands in California to See Dying 2-Year-Old Son

UPDATE: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Sacramento Valley office reports that 2-year-old, Abdullah Hassan, died on Friday at UCSF in Oakland.

Funeral services will be held in Lodi on Saturday.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After an international push and an appeal for human decency, Shaima Swileh is now on American soil.

"This is a difficult time for our family but we are blessed to be together," said Swileh's husband, Ali Hassan.

Swileh and Hassan are now together as their 2-year-old son, Abdullah, lays in UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital on life support. He suffers from a genetic brain disorder.

A source close to the family says Abdullah is no longer breathing on his own. His remaining days may be numbered.

CAIR Sacramento Valley shared a photo to its Facebook page of Swileh with her son.

"We all feel like Abdullah’s moms because we all have kids and this is a bad situation," said Horea Alroaini with the Yemeni Women's Association. "We want to tell her that we feel for her."

Supporters welcomed Swileh, who was finally able to secure a visa from the State Department Tuesday. For months, while her child’s condition worsened, Swileh, a Yemeni national, was restricted by the U.S. travel ban on five Muslim-majority countries.

Family friends say Swileh made 28 requests to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with no luck.

Finally, her husband, who is an American citizen, brought Abdullah to the U.S. in the fall without her.

"All of you helped us create a campaign to amplify the voices of those who won’t let America be defined by anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies," said Basim Elkarra with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Sacramento.

Officials with CAIR say had it not been for media attention, the State Department would not have granted Swileh a travel ban waiver, a visa and a chance to have a few final days with her son.

They used her case to highlight what they see as an unjust policy.

"We appear to the community, appear for everyone to tell them we are peaceful people," Alroaini said. "We came here to have a better life."

"The Muslim ban has hurt Yemeni-American families and needs to end," Hassan told reporters.

A source with the State Department never denied it was the media scrutiny that prompted them to grant Swileh a visa. They say they take every situation on a case-by-case basis.

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