CHICAGO (CBS) — A mother and daughter from Yemen who made it on a last-minute flight to Chicago were among those rushing to travel while President Donald Trump’s travel ban is lifted.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres caught up with a family who finally returned to the U.S. — a moment two years in the making.
Abdusebur Jemal, his wife Haifa Abdulwahab Hussein Mohammed, and three-year-old daughter Rudaynah reunited Sunday morning at O’Hare Airport.
“All I wanted was to see my wife and my daughter, this is one of the greatest moments, I think, since I got to this country,” Jemal said.
Haifa, a citizen of Yemen entering the U.S. on a IR-1 immigrant visa, and her daughter were originally supposed to arrive in Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 28, but weren’t able to travel due to President Trump’s executive order.
“The daughter is a U.S. citizen, the wife is immigrating to the United states, she’s from Yemen,” said Kalman Resnick, the family’s immigration attorney. “She had to flee Yemen because of the war, and was in Ethiopia and she had her immigrant visa issued.”
Resnick said as soon as he learned a judge had placed a temporary stop to the travel ban, he contacted Jemal.
“When I called him, I said ‘buy the ticket right now, I think she can come, don’t think twice because these planes are going to start filling up,'” Resnick said.
That decision led to the family’s reunion Sunday morning.
And the family is thankful to the judge who made it happen.
“It means a lot to us. It’s not just about a ruling. This has a real impact on us — financially, emotionally,” Jemal said. “So if I get a chance, I just want to say thank you to him and he’s a great American hero.”
Jemal is a U.S. citizen and a second year medical student at the University of Illinois in Rockford with degrees from Stanford and Yale.
And although he’s looking for a career in medicine, he said he’s mostly excited to finally be a husband and a dad in the U.S.