Save Isabel

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Save Isabel

Told that she would die by the age of 7 due to a rare medical condition, Isabel moved to the U.S. to access life-saving medication and care not available in her home country. Now she is being deported, with just 33 days notice, despite 16 years of living in the U.S. a legal resident.

Help keep Isabel in the U.S. so she can continue to access life-saving medical care.

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About Isabel

Isabel is an inspiration to everyone who meets her. She is smart, lively, lovely and full of plans. Despite being told that she would die by the age of 7, Isabel has defied the odds through life-saving medication and care. She recently graduated from college with honors and is an active member of her community.

In 2016, Isabel was featured on the popular TV series, My Last Days. To see her episode and learn more about her story, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87q8HvGmTes.

Isabel is severely disabled - wheelchair bound with a tracheotomy. She suffers from a rare, life-threatening disorder called Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, also known as Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI (MPS-6). She receives weekly day-long treatments at UCSF Children’s Hospital in Oakland, which is paid for through her private medical insurance.

About Her Situation

In 2003, Isabel and her family moved to the United States to participate in a clinical trial to treat her rare condition. Upon FDA approval of the treatment, the family stayed in the U.S., legally, in accordance with a medical deferred action status, so that Isabel could continue receiving treatment and additional medical care crucial to her health. The treatment is not available in Guatemala.

Isabel and her family have lived in the U.S. legally for 16 years. Isabel’s mother is her primary caregiver, while her father works and provides for the family. They own a home, pay taxes, are active in their community, and have complied with all legal requirements of their visa.

On August 13, USCIS denied extension of their Deferred Action Status, ordering Isabel and her family to return to Guatemala. If the family does not leave within 33 days, deportation proceedings will be initiated. Immigration attorneys are reporting similar denials across the U.S., except to U.S. military families. Lack of notice prevents the family from making any accommodation for Isabel’s care.

According to Martin Lawler, Isabel’s San Francisco immigration attorney, “Isabel and her family have followed all the immigration rules. She is not a burden to the government and has private medical insurance. It is outrageous to deport a young person with a serious illness that can only be treated in the U.S. Where has our compassion gone? USCIS should extend Isabel and her family’s deferred action status.”