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Two-year-old Yemeni boy at center of row over US travel ban dies

This photo (courtesy of the Council on American-Islamic relations) shows Abdullah Hassan, 2, on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, on December 16, 2018 with his father, Ali. (Photo by AFP)

Two-year-old Abdullah Hassan, whose Yemeni mother had been banned entrance to the United States by the State Department for months to see him, has died.

Hassan died on Friday from a terminal genetic brain disease named hypomyelination in UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. 

The two-year-old Hassan, who was a US citizen, had been brought to the US for treatment about three months ago by his father, Ali Hassan, who also bears US citizenship.

His mother, Shaima Swileh, had been barred from visiting her ailing son due to the US travel ban imposed on several Muslim countries.

For months, the US State Department, citing the presidential travel ban, had rejected her visa request. 

Swileh was eventually granted permission to enter the US days before Hassan’s death and only after she sued the Trump administration over the travel ban.

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"We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives," the father was quoted by media as telling reporters.

Trump's travel ban targets people from six Muslim-majority countries, namely, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad.

In addition to the Muslim states, North Korea and Venezuela are also targeted in the presidential ban.

During the 2016 presidential race, Trump campaigned for "a total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US.

Currently Trump is threatening to shut the border with Mexico.

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