United States

Rollback of Medical Deferred Action Program for Sick Immigrants Halted

A Contra Costa County woman received potentially lifesaving news Thursday when she learned that immigration officials have halted plans to reverse the medical deferred action plan that allows her to stay in the U.S. for weekly treatments − treatments that she needs to stay alive.

Isabel Bueso made national headlines last month when the Trump administration threatened to revoke the medical deferment that is so crucial to her and other immigrants.

Bueso came to the U.S. for weekly enzyme treatments that she can’t get in her home country of Guatemala.

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

Bueso relies on the weekly infusion 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.

In August, Bueso was ordered by the Department of Homeland Security to return home within 33 days or face deportation. At that time, the government had ended the program that allowed patients receiving critical treatment to stay in the U.S.

But East Bay congressman Mark Desaulnier vowed to intervene.

"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.

It appears that the congressman’s efforts have paid off -- he said immigration services signaled that they are reversing the planned medical deportation policy.

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