A group of healthcare providers rallied outside a California hospital on Friday to protest a patient’s possible deportation—an action her advocates say would be an effective death sentence.
“Immigrants are human beings whose lives are not to be thrown away,” said Aina Gagui, an RN at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, in a press statement.
The case involves 24-year-old Maria Isabel Bueso, who’s been receiving life-saving treatment which is unavailable in her home country of Guatemala for the rare disease she suffers from, mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, at the Bay Area hospital since she was seven. Bueso and her parents came to the country at the invitation of Dr. Paul Harmatz, who wanted Isabel to take part in clinical trials.
While Bueso and her family have been in the country legally under the medical “deferred action” program that gives those receiving needed medical condition permission to stay. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) explained this week that the family “has followed every rule.”
“They came here legally, paid their taxes, and Isabel’s participation in groundbreaking clinical trials has given hope to Americans with rare diseases,” said DeSaulnier.
But in mid-August, the family got news that Isabel’s mom, Karla, said made her feel like “the whole world was collapsing.” The Bueso family received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security saying the deferment was not being renewed, as it had been previously, and that the family must leave the country within 33 days or face deportation.
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