Iranian girl given waiver to enter U.S. for medical treatment during immigration ban

Portland, Ore. — An Iranian baby with a life-threatening heart condition will now be able to receive treatment at a Oregon hospital.

Staff at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, immigration attorneys, and elected officials all worked to make sure Fatemah Rashad could enter the country.

This came before President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban was put on hold on Friday, after a Federal Judge in Washington issued a temporary restraining order. The Justice Department has filed an appeal to uphold the ban, but for now, people who were previously banned can now enter the country.

Rashad has been fighting for her life in just the four short months she’s been alive. The young Iranian girl was scheduled to come to the U.S. for a life saving operation, but the executive order by President Trump banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries almost kept her out.

“Keeping four-month-old babies out of our country doesn’t make us safer.” Oregon Suzanne Bonamici said. “It puts her life in danger and diminishes the united states in the eyes of the world.”

Representative Bonamici and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and immigration attorneys all worked to help secure a waiver to get the infant the care she needs, for the heart condition that could have taken her life.

“We are thrilled to be able to take care of this child from Iran,” Doctor Dana Braner said, a physician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Hospital Physicians say they’re looking forward to treating the infant, but they’re anticipating a slightly longer recovery phase. As for the family, they’re just relieved the plan is back in motion.

“They thought they were really going to be living with this medical condition in limbo, so they’re thrilled and excited to be able to come to the United States for care,” Attorney Jennifer Morrissey said.

Physicians say they’ll work with doctors in Iran who will continue with the infant’s care after she leaves the United States.

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