SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Los Banos family arrived in San Francisco Sunday after a temporary travel ban enacted by President Donald Trump left them stranded in Africa for over a week.
JUST IN: Eman is a citizen per attorney pic.twitter.com/P41mbFIYfT— Cory James (@CoryABC30) February 6, 2017
President Trump's executive order suspended travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. One of the countries listed is Yemen. Los Banos native Ahmed Ali is a U.S. citizen but his 12-year-old daughter Eman has a Yemeni passport and visa.
It all dates back to 2004, the year Eman was born in Yemen. Her mother, an American citizen, was there for a family emergency when she went into labor. When the family was ready to return to the US in 2010, Eman had to stay behind until the immigration visa process for her was resolved.
The family was scheduled to fly home last Saturday but were denied entry to their plane, leaving the two stranded in Djibouti.
"There were a lot of kids, a lot of families that got returned in Djibouti that day," Ali explained. "So, it's not fair for everybody. There are some people there that are bad but not everybody is bad."
President Trump's executive order has drawn heavy criticism and sparked protests across the country. His administration defended the order, calling it an issue of national security.
A federal judge in Seattle placed a restraining order on the temporary travel ban on Friday. The Department of Justice filed an emergency motion to reinstate the ban but the appeal was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals a day later.
"This is not somebody that we should have been keeping out of the United States, ever," the family's attorney, Katy Lewis, said.
A GoFundMe account in support of Ali and his daughter raised over $20,000. Ali says he is very thankful for the Central Valley community that pulled together to support his family while he and his daughter were in east Africa.