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Man reunited with family in Detroit after 17 years

Visa process, Muslim ban prevented Ahmad from seeing family in U.S.

DETROIT – It has been 17 years since Ali Ahmad -- a native of Yemen -- was able to wake up in the same country with his family. 

Due to a lengthy U.S. Visa application process, and President Donald Trump's travel ban, it made it almost impossible for Ahmad to see his family in the United States. 

"Almost" being the key word. 

He finally reunited with his family Wednesday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after his flight from Yemen to Chicago, and then Chicago to Detroit. Hugs and tears were shared among Ahmad and his family members, as it took nearly two decades for he and his family to be reunited.

"Definitely a good day for the family," said Saad Almasmari, a friend of the family.

Ahmad's struggles to return to the U.S. started in 2002, when his father, a U.S. citizen, first petitioned for his U.S. Visa. After three rounds of DNA tests and waiting for years of promised appointments with the U.S. embassy, Ahmad's Visa was finally approved in 2017.

But President Trump's travel ban denied Ahmad from entering the U.S. yet again, having his wait be a little longer.

Last week, Ahmad was granted his waiver yet again, helping him finally reunite with his loved ones.

"I'm very happy because I got into the U.S. country, the land of freedom, and I saw my mom," Ahmad said. "Thank God, I am very happy because I landed in America and hopefully everyone else will come.

Ahmad even has plans of his own for when he gets settled in.

"The first thing I'll try to create my own small business and help the community," Ahmad said.


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