Child whose mother defied Trump 'Muslim ban' to spend final days with him dies
A two-year-old boy, whose Yemeni mother's battle to obtain a visa to visit him in the hospital in the United States made headlines earlier this month, died on Friday after a long battle with a degenerative brain condition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced on Saturday.
Abdullah Hassan passed away at an Oakland, California hospital nine days after his mother, Shaima Swileh, was finally able to travel to the US to reunite with her son after a months-long fight against US President Donald Trump’s "Muslim ban".
"We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives," CAIR quoted Ali Hassan, Abdullah's father and Swileh’s husband, as saying.
Hassan and Abdullah, who are both US citizens, had flown to the US on 1 October to seek medical treatment for the child.
But Swileh was unable to travel with them due to Trump's executive order barring citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, from entering the country.
CAIR took on the family’s case, and finally obtained a waiver for Swileh on 18 December. She flew to the US the next day.
"Ali and Shaima are in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn the loss of dear Abdullah," Saad Sweilem, CAIR's lawyer for the family, said in a statement.
"With their courage, this family has inspired our nation to confront the realities of Donald Trump's Muslim Ban. In his short life, Abdullah has been a guiding light for all of us in the fight against xenophobia and family separation."
In his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US".
He later issued an executive order barring entry into the US for citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, prompting several court challenges.
The latest version of Trump's so-called Muslim ban prohibits entry into the US of most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It was upheld by the US Supreme Court in June.