Travel ban keeps a mother from saying goodbye to dying 2-year-old

[Update 12/18 3 p.m.] After Hassan’s plea via the news media, the State Department has granted a visa to the mother.

Thanks to President Trump’s travel ban, people from Yemen are not allowed into the United States even if their kid is here dying and a mother wants to hold his hand one last time.

Abdullah Hassan, who was born in Yemen with a rare brain disease, can no longer breathe on his own. His father, a U.S. citizen, brought him to Stockton, Calif., five months ago in the hope that doctors could save him. They can’t. He’s not going to live much longer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The family is ready to take him off life support. But his mother is in Yemen and the State Department has ignored the family’s request for a waiver, according to the newspaper.

“All she wishes is to hold his hand for the last time,” Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan, 22, tells paper. “If I could take him off the ventilator and to the airplane, I would take him to her. I would let her see him. But he won’t make it.”

Hassan drives from Stockton to be with his son every day. Saturday was Abdullah’s second birthday, and Hassan took a photo with him, kissing his forehead and holding his hand. He sends videos to Swileh almost every day, though Abdullah no longer smiles or opens his eyes for them.

Fawzi Hassan said that at this point, their urgency in bringing his daughter-in-law to the United States is not for Abdullah, who is unconscious and will not wake up again. It’s Swileh he worries about, as well as Ali Hassan.

“The child, he is between God’s hands. God is the creator, and he’s the one who will let him go or let him stay,” Fawzi Hassan said. “But when I see my son suffering over this, it hurts even more. And what can we do about it? What crime did the child commit to be banned from his mom?”

The State Department wouldn’t comment. It has told the father his request for a visa for his wife is being processed. It’s been months.

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