Guatemalan immigrant Isabel Bueso came to the U.S. for life-saving treatment for Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, and after dodging a Trump-era effort to deport her, she will now be allowed to permanently remain in the U.S.
Back in 2003, a young Guatemalan girl named Isabel Bueso came to the U.S. by invitation of American doctors to participate in clinical trials for Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome (also called Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI), considered to be a fatal disease. The six-hour weekly treatments restored Bueso's organs well enough for her to survive and continue treatment, until the Trump administration immigration bans revoked her welcome, and in 2019, she and her family were given 33 days to leave the country.
Maria Isabel Bueso’s story inspired countless Americans to speak out for immigrants like herself who benefit from medically deferred action, a humanitarian initiative that is literally life-saving. It was my pleasure to welcome her to the U.S. Capitol today. pic.twitter.com/gPdNe0Pjgw— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 10, 2019
Bueso and her family were awarded a two-year extension to stay shortly thereafter, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi applying some pressure to defer action against Bueso’s deportation. But it was only a two-year extension.
Thank you Rep.@MarkDeSaulnier for authoring #HR4225, a lifesaving bill that will allow my good friend and former intern Isabel Bueso and her family to stay in the US so she can continue to receive the critical medical care she needs! pic.twitter.com/zrKUOvDtk7— Rob Bonta (@AGRobBonta) September 10, 2020
Yet now Isabel Bueso can stay in the U.S. and continue treatment permanently. The Bay Area News Group reports that President Biden just signed a new law allowing families like the Buesos to apply for green cards and continue medical treatments.
“There are no words to express our feelings and gratitude for giving us the opportunity to create a solid future in this country,” Bueso said in a Wednesday statement. “Congressman [Mark] DeSaulnier’s support and dedication to our struggle, finding a way forward and making it happen in spite of obstacles, is a testament to his commitment to making life better for his constituents and others.”
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier is Contra Costa County’s U.S. House representative, who'd taken up Isabel Bueso’s cause with new legislation. He authored H.R. 758, which passed the House this summer, and which President Biden signed into law Wednesday.
“Isabel’s medical condition is permanent and her status in the U.S. to get treatment should be too,” DeSaulnier said in a statement. “I am so relieved for the Buesos that they will finally get long overdue peace of mind now that President Biden has signed this bill into law so they can spend their time focusing on Isabel’s care instead of unnecessary paperwork and worry.”
It's a great feel-good story for sure, made all the better by Bueso’s original diagnosis that she would not live past the age of seven. She is now 27 years old, and for good measure, is a summa cum laude graduate from Cal State East Bay.
Image: @AGRobBonta via Twitter