U.S. government officials have confirmed a waiver of the travel ban on a 4-month-old Iranian baby whose travel plans to the U.S. were affected by President Trump’s executive order that banned the entry of people from seven middle-eastern countries. According to CNN, Fatemah Reshad, a 4-month-old baby from Iran was scheduled to arrive in the U.S. for an emergency medical procedure that would save her life.
However, the travel plans of the baby and her parents went awry after President Trump decided to impose a blanket ban on people from Iran and six other middle eastern countries. After widespread media coverage of the ordeal, U.S. officials have confirmed that Fatemah and her Iranian parents would get a waiver and will be officially allowed into the country so that baby can be successfully treated.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 4, 2017
The announcement of the waiver for Fatemah was announced by N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday in a statement which read as follows.
“This evening we were pleased to learn that the federal government has now granted Fatemeh Reshad and her family boarding documents to come to the United States.”
Cuomo further added.
“Bizarrely, the federal ban would prevent this child from receiving medical care and literally endanger her life. It is repugnant to all we believe as Americans and as members of the human family. We will continue to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project and their partners to ensure this baby receives the treatment she needs, and fight for those being unfairly shut out of America’s gates by this policy.”
Earlier, the child’s uncle told CNN that Fatemah’s parents were barred from boarding a flight to the U.S. on Thursday. The news of the waiver comes nearly two days after several media reports highlighted the story of the little child affected by the man. Following media reports, several congressional Democrats released a letter Friday that asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to grant a waiver for the child and her parents to come into the country for surgery.
— Negar نگار (@NegarMortazavi) February 4, 2017
At this time, it remains unclear if the surgery would go ahead as planned. However, help from various quarters is already on its way for the baby. Mount Sinai Hospital in New York offered to provide the surgery and medical care at no cost to the family. The family is now expected to fly into the U.S. by “early next week.” Officials are still finalizing the flight details and other formalities. Meanwhile, the child’s uncle Samad Teghizadeh, who is an American citizen, confirmed the news while adding that he has been a citizen for the past seven years. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his parents who are also U.S. citizens.
“Everything is going great and we are bringing her here to Portland,” Teghizadeh told CNN Friday.
It was last month that doctors treating Fatemeh in Tehran told the family that the child has two holes on her heart and that Iran lacked the medical facilities to offer treatment. It was following this revelation that the family decided to travel to the U.S. for treatment. In fact, last week, the family attempted to get to the U.S. and had reached Dubai for an onward flight to the U.S. However, on account of the then newly-introduced Presidential order, the family was turned back to Tehran from there with a suggestion asking them to re-apply for a Visa after 90 days. The family was, however, worried if the little girl would survive until then.
After the story of Fatemah had gone viral, several state and federal officials intervened on behalf of the family.
According to doctors, Fatemah suffers from a condition known as ventricular septal defect (VSD). This is said to be a common heart defect present at birth due to an abnormal connection between the ventricles or lower chambers of the heart.
[Featured Image By Chris Carlson/ AP Images]