Iranian infant will have surgery in US after travel ban halted

Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 04, 2017

A 4-month-old Iranian girl in need of heart surgery who was originally denied entry into the country under President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been granted boarding documents to enter the United States.

Fatemah Reshad was diagnosed with a heart condition that required surgery — a surgery that required care that could only be found in the United States. Fatemah’s family had their visas approved and were on their way to America, but were forced to return home after President Trump signed an executive order banning travels from Iran and six other countries from entering the country on Jan. 27.

But Fatemah’s family caught a break on Friday, as a judge on Friday ordered a nationwide hold on Trump’s executive order. The Department of Homeland Security The Oregonian reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has authorized boarding for her family.



The family hasn’t booked airline tickets yet, but they hope to arrive in Portland for Fatemah’s surgery on Monday.

Fatemah’s story inspired politicians to take action. Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, seeking a waiver to allow Fatemah and her family to enter the country. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also petitioned for an exemption for Fatemah and her family.

Fatemah’s surgery will take place at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.