United States

Changing Immigration Laws Could Force Guatemalan Woman to Lose Medical Treatment

A change in immigration laws could mean a death sentence for a Contra Costa Country resident

Isabel Bueso, 24, relies on weekly treatments for a rare disease that she cannot get in her home country of Guatamala. But a government program that has allowed her to stay since she was seven could prevent her from getting treatment.

"This is a treatment that is every single week for the rest of my life," said Bueso. "And if it stops at any moment I’m going to die."

Bueso relies on weekly infusions of enzymes to treat a rare genetic disease that has stunted her growth, narrowed her airways and weakened her heart.

"Life expectancy was really short for me and now I’m 24-years-old," Bueso said.

Now Bueso has been ordered by the Department of Homeland Security to return home. Her family has received a letter giving them just 33 days to leave or face deportation. The government has ended a medical deferred action program that allows patients receiving critical treatment to stay in the U.S.

"It would be the same decision as if you were pulling the plug on a respirator," said Dr. Paul Hernandez.

Bueso’s doctor said without the enzyme treatment her health would rapidly decline and she may only have months to live.

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier said he is doing all he can and has teamed up with other lawmakers to write letters requesting a review and introduced a bill on her behalf.

"If I have to lock myself to their front door when ICE officers come, I’ll do that. But this is just ridiculous, it’s not how Americans treat people," said DeSaulnier.

NBC Bay Area reached out to ICE who in statement said it simply can’t decide “on a categorical basis to exempt entire groups of aliens from the immigration laws enacted by Congress.”

The college grad and law school hopeful prays she will find an answer.

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