Shaima Swileh, a Yemeni national, is currently in Egypt, hoping for a waiver that will

Yemeni mother granted travel ban waiver to visit dying son at Oakland hospital

A Yemeni mother is receiving a visa waiver that will allow her to see her 2-year-old son clinging to life at an Oakland hospital after previously being unable to come to the U.S. because of President Donald Trump’s travel ban applying to mostly Muslim-majority countries.

The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced this morning that Shaima Swileh, who is currently in Egypt, will be able to come see her son Abdullah, who has a genetic brain condition that is worsening and is being treated at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Doctors have told the family that the boy’s body won’t withstand life support much longer.

Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan of Stockton, joined CAIR and other civil rights and religious leaders for a news conference in Sacramento on Monday to call on the Trump administration to grant a waiver for Swileh.

He broke down in tears as he pleaded with U.S. officials to allow Swileh to travel to the U.S.

“My wife is calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold our son for one last time,” Hassan said. “Time is running out, please help us get my family together again.”

Lynn Berkley-Baskin, community outreach chair for the Jewish Community Relations Council, also urged the government to grant Swileh a waiver that “will show what we say about family values is true” and to show compassion for the mother and son.

“Lack of compassion robs our country of our soul,” she said.

Officials with CAIR Sacramento Valley wrote on Twitter this morning that “We’re getting her here ASAP.”

-Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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