Yemeni girl reunited with family at SFO after four years apart

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A young girl separated from her family for several years is now reunited with her loved ones after arriving in San Francisco Sunday. (KGO-TV)

A young girl separated from her family for several years is now reunited with her loved ones after arriving in San Francisco Sunday.

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Eman Ali is a little girl whose parents are both U.S. citizens. Her siblings already live in California, but because of convoluted immigration laws, further complicated by last week's travel ban, she was stranded in Yemen--a dangerous, war-torn country. She was stranded there for four years without her immediate family.

After all that time apart, Salma Ali waited anxiously for her little sister Eman to arrive at SFO, stepping on U.S. soil for the first time.

With a grin across her face, 12-yearo-old Ali walked out of customs and into Salma's arms.

Eman's story began 12 years ago when her mother, a U.S. citizen, was traveling and gave birth to her in Yemen.

It wasn't until Friday, when a federal judge in Seattle signed an order to temporarily stop President Donald Trump's travel ban, that Ali, accompanied by her father, was able to complete her journey home to California. "Waiting for a long time, it's seven years already," Ali's father Ahmed told ABC7 News. "So after seven years, finally we home."

Seven years is the length of time it took Ali's parents to get their daughter a visa to travel to the U.S. even though both he and his wife are U.S. citizens. That visa finally came on Jan. 26, the day before Trump signed his executive order suspending immigration from 7 Muslim-majority countries including Yemen.

"Whatever they did, it's not fair," said Ahmed. "If some people there are bad that doesn't make everybody bad."

Ahmed and Ali were stranded in immigration limbo for a week in Djibouti, unsure if they would be able to fly back to the U.S. That made Sunday's homecoming that much sweeter.

"Finally I have all my family home," said Ahmed. "So it's the best."

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After leaving SFO the Ali family drove to Los Banos where Eman, a new U.S. citizen, is now home with her mother, father and sisters.

Click here for more stories about immigration.
Related Topics:
newsyemenimmigrationimmigration reformPresident Donald TrumppoliticsSan Francisco
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