Yemeni Girl’s Travel Ordeal Ends With US Citizenship


Publish Date:
February 5, 2017
San Francisco Chronicle
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A 12-year-old Yemeni girl who was barred from boarding an airplane last week to join her family in the United States arrived at San Francisco International on Sunday and left the airport a U.S. citizen.

It took six years for the United States to approve a visa for Eman Ali to move to the United States to join her parents and two sisters. The reunion almost didn’t happen because of President Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, for 90 days.

“The law is constantly in flux,” said Lisa Weissman-Ward, supervising attorney with Stanford Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, who was at SFO on Sunday to provide legal assistance as needed.

Weissman-Ward was among a dozen volunteer lawyers and translators gathered at the airport for the eighth day in a row Sunday as they prepared for the arrival of travelers from the seven affected countries.

She said she and other attorneys knew of about a dozen travelers from the affected countries who arrived Sunday, and added that there were probably many more who were not in contact with attorneys.

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