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Yemeni mother finally reunites with her dying toddler in U.S.

Mom from Yemen reunited with dying son in U.S.

A Yemeni mother was reunited with her dying toddler at a California hospital Wednesday night. She received a visa waiver following public outcry over her repeated failed attempts to get permission to travel to the United States.

CBS San Francisco reports that Shaima Swileh was welcomed by a large crowd at San Francisco International Airport after a long flight from Egypt, where she applied for a travel visa several times. Citizens from Yemen are restricted from coming to the U.S. under the Trump administration's travel ban.

"This process shows that this is a Muslim ban and that this waiver is a sham," said Basim Elkarr, of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Sacramento Valley during an airport news conference after Swileh's arrival.

Her son, 2-year-old Abdullah, has a degenerative brain disorder and is on life support at an Oakland hospital. He could be taken off at any moment.

The boy's father, Ali Hassan, flew to California with Abdullah a few months ago in a last-ditch effort to save him, leaving his wife behind.

Hassan is a U.S. citizen from Stockton, California, and sought the best medical care for Abdullah in Oakland.

Abdullah Hassan has been on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland for the past month.  KPIX

Since then, Swileh had tried to get a waiver to be by her son's side, but was repeatedly turned down. But earlier this week, the family's story gained not only national attention, but the attention of lawmakers and thousands of supporters who wrote letters to Congress.

By Tuesday, Swileh had gotten word that the State Department had granted her a waiver to be with her son in his final moments.

"The fact that they ultimately approved her shows that there was no issue with her case to begin with and that she should've been approved months ago," Banan Al-Akhras, of Nimer Law, said during a news conference.

Swileh didn't say a word to the large crowd of supporters and media who gathered around her, but many felt she didn't need to.

Deaa Ahmed, a mother of five, told CBS San Francisco she knows Swileh must have been in pain while separated from her son.

"I feel sorry for her," she said.

The couple was rushed to the hospital through a back entrance seconds after the news conference. They asked the crowd for privacy.

"This is difficult time for our family," said Hassan. "But we are blessed to be together."

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