By Jennifer McGraw

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) — After months away from her son, a mother from Yemen has finally arrived in the Bay Area to say her final goodbye to her dying child.

The Yemeni citizen tried to get to the U.S. repeatedly to be with her toddler, but the travel ban kept her in Egypt.

Wednesday night in sort of a chaotic scene, among friends and a flock of media on hand, Shaima Swileh touched down on American soil.

She’s fought for 17 months to get a waiver from the U.S. government to come to see her son.

“The result of that failure, a dying two-year-old boy has suffered without his mother by his side for no apparent reason,” said Swileh’s legal counsel, Banan Al-Akhras.

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Swileh’s husband Ali Hassan is a U.S. citizen who currently lives in Stockton. He brought their son Abdullah to California in the fall to get treatment for a genetic brain disorder.

“The Muslim ban has hurt Yemen and American families. [It] needs to end,” Hassan said in a statement at the San Francisco Airport to more than 100 people.

The visa fight triggered a lawsuit and renewed debate over the controversial travel ban.

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“The fact that they ultimately approved her showed there was no problem with her case and she should’ve been approved months ago,” Al-Akhras said.

The family briefly met with reporters at the airport before heading to the hospital to say goodbye to their son.

“This is a difficult time, but we are blessed to be together,” Hassan said.

Swileh did not speak to reporters this evening, but according to her counsel, the United States government will allow her to stay with her husband to begin a path toward US citizenship.

Jennifer McGraw


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