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Human Interest

4-month-old Iranian Baby Will Be Allowed to Enter U.S. for Life-saving Surgery

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the federal government would be making an exception to allow a 4-month-old Iranian baby to enter the U.S. to receive life-saving medical treatment following President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban.

“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,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”

He also said the pediatric surgical team at Mount Sinai in New York offered to cover all medical expenses and that Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP planned to pay for their travel expenses to and from New York.

According to the Associated Press, the family had an appointment in Dubai to get a tourist visa, but it was cancelled last week after Trump announced his executive order temporarily banning travel to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran. The order also temporarily banned refugees from entering the country and indefinitely banned refugees from Syria from entering the U.S.

Fatemah is in need of at least one urgent surgery and maybe several others to correct serious heart defects, her uncle told the AP.

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Before sharing the good news for the Reshad family, Cuomo addressed his opposition to Trump’s travel ban.

“As Washington seeks to close America’s golden door and extinguish the torch on the Statue of Liberty, New York will remain true to the ideals that founded this nation,” he wrote. “For all the disruption and hardship this misguided immigration policy has caused, one of the most unfortunate and egregious situations is posed by a four-month-old Iranian girl who needs a life-saving surgery that can only be performed in the United States.

“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.”

On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked Trump’s executive order, causing the State Department to reverse its cancellation of visas for people affected by the ban. The White House has said that the Department of Justice would pursue a stay against the latest court motion.