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Muslim family affected by Trump’s travel ban invited to State of the Union address

22nd Feb 2019

Elham Asaad Buaras

California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressmen Jerry McNerney invited Shaima Swileh and Ali Hassan to hear President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in Washington DC on February 5.

The couple were affected by Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries in January 2017.

Swileh, a Yemeni national, was granted a waiver from President Trump’s travel ban to see her dying toddler son and her husband Ali Hassan both US citizens but only after enormous public pressure. 2-year-old Abdullah Hassan died shortly after Swileh’s arrival in mid-December, in the Bay Area.

Lofgren, who had lobbied the State Department for the waiver to be granted, said: “The Muslim ban separates families from their loved ones, harms businesses and creates a false notion that people are bad actors by virtue of their birthplace.”

“I am proud to invite Shaima to bring attention to this issue and to begin holding the Administration accountable for its un-American policies,” she said.

Saad Sweilem is the Civil Rights Attorney of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the bereaved parents “were in attendance to remind the nation of one of Trump’s greatest failures: The separation of families, including the families of US citizens.”

“As Abdullah lay dying in a hospital bed in Oakland, he was denied – by his own Government – the comfort and affection of his mother. Abdullah’s forced separation from his mother over the last three months of 2018 exposed Trump’s Muslim ban for what it is: A pillar of his xenophobic agenda targeting immigrants.”

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