A Yemeni mother who fought to obtain a visa waiver to travel to California to see her terminally ill 2-year-old son was finally reunitedwith her only child just over a week ago.
Her son, Abdullah, died at the U.C.S.F. Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, where he was being treated for hypomyelination, a genetic degenerative brain condition, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group known as CAIR, said on Saturday.
“We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives,” Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan, said in a statement. “We want to thank everyone for your love and support at this difficult time.”
The family’s plight received widespread attention in the news media and drew support from three members of Congress who wrote a letterto the State Department asking for an expedited decision on the visa waiver.
Abdullah’s mother, Shaima Swileh, a Yemeni citizen, could not go to California because people from Yemen were barred from entering the United States under President Trump’s travel ban. Seven countries are included in the ban, most of them predominantly Muslim.