A 12-year-old Yemeni girl may be able to come to America after all, thanks to a Southern California district court's temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump's immigration order.
Since Saturday, the girl and her father have been in limbo, blocked from coming to America, despite going through all the necessary legal steps.
Even though the court ruling is in effect, the attorney for the Ali family says it's not that simple. They can't just show the document and get on a plane because there's so much confusion over how the executive order works. So, for now, they have to wait until it can all get sorted out.
"She is really sad," Ahmed Ali said about his daughter Iman. "She is expecting to go to the USA to see her mom, her sisters and everything will be OK."
From his hotel room, stuck in Djibouti, Ahmed told NBC Bay Area how he and Iman were steps away from boarding a plane Saturday, only to be turned away because of the president's order. The rest of Iman's family lives in Los Banos, citizens of the United States. Iman was born in Yemen.
"They've waited for so long for this process to go through, and they've followed all the rules that have been established," said Katie Lewis, Ali's attorney. "So at the eleventh hour to not be able to board the plane is quite upsetting, frustrating."
It's taken six years for the Ali family to obtain Iman's visa. On Wednesday morning, their ordeal traveled to the House of Representatives, where Congressman Jim Costa directed criticism and a plea to the president.
"Mr. President, Secretary Kelly, I appeal to your compassion, your common sense," Costa said. "This 12-year-old girl, Iman, has been extremely vetted for six years or whatever you'd like to call it. She is not a threat to our country. Let her join her family."
Ali's attorney said they are also trying to contact airline executives to make sure they understand the court ruling. They are also trying to get the State Department to issue a transportation letter saying that Iman is Legally welcome in the U.S.