MERKLEY, WYDEN, BLUMENAUER, BONAMICI, DEFAZIO, SCHRADER ASK FOR WAIVER FROM MUSLIM BAN TO ALLOW INFANT’S LIFE-SAVING SURGERY

MERKLEY, WYDEN, BLUMENAUER, BONAMICI, DEFAZIO, SCHRADER ASK FOR WAIVER FROM MUSLIM BAN TO ALLOW INFANT’S LIFE-SAVING SURGERY

A letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requests urgent action

Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congressman Peter DeFazio, and Congressman Kurt Schrader on Friday sent an urgent letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asking him to issue a waiver from the ban on travel from predominately Muslim countries to allow a 4-month-old girl to undergo life-saving heart surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University.

“Fatemeh’s life is in peril and, if she does not soon have corrective surgeries, she will die,” they wrote.

Fatemeh’s uncle lives in Portland, Oregon, along with her grandparents. All three of them are U.S. citizens and helped the infant’s parents apply for tourist visas. The parents were on their way to Dubai for a scheduled interview at the U.S. Embassy there when, due to Trump’s recent Executive Order banning travel from Iran, the family’s interview was canceled.

“Whether Fatemeh and her family are allowed access to this urgent and necessary medical care in the United States will determine whether she lives or dies,” the Oregon lawmakers wrote. “Granting her family’s request to travel to the U.S. is not only the moral and humanitarian decision, but would signal to Iran and the rest of the world that, even in the face of highly strained diplomatic relations, the United States offers help to those suffering tragic circumstances.”

The Oregon lawmakers believe the family meets the criteria for a waiver, as described in the recent executive order suspending these visas.