CSUEB alumni at risk for deportation



For the past three years as President of the United States, Donald Trump has attempted to enact multiple policies on the basis of falsehoods. The protection of our national parks has ended. Transgender men and women are no longer allowed to serve in the Armed Forces. One of his first policies, the travel ban, barred those of the Muslim faith from entering the country.
Now, with President Trump’s new policies on deportation, a young California State University, East Bay graduate’s life is now at risk, with a nine-day deadline, to leave Sept. 14.
Two hashtags have taken Twitter by storm in the past week: #SaveIsabel and #LetIsabelStay. Celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Rainn Wilson, and Gina Rodriguez have all shown support through social media over this topic.
So the question remains: who is Isabel?
Maria Isabel Bueso, 23, came to the United States when she was seven years old by invitation from doctors researching Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI), or Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome.
In the past, those in a similar situation as Bueso have been protected under deferred action, set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immagration Services, that states that as long as an individual or a family member is receiving life-saving medical treatment, they are given residency in the United States.
The treatment Bueso received has allowed her to surpass any expectations that were set on her in the past. Doctors said she wouldn’t live past adolescence, but Bueso did not just survive, she thrived.
MPS VI is a rare and terminal genetic condition that enlarges tissues and organs within the human body. This causes the affected areas to become scarred and inflamed, according to the Genetics Home Reference. A common addition to the symptoms are skeletal abnormalities along with fluid buildup in the brain, abnormalities within the heart, and a narrow airway causing breathing issues. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, life expectancy can vary between individuals. Bueso, for example, was not expected to make it past childhood.
However, Bueso is much more than her condition. She took her love of dance, trained to become a teacher, and is now an instructor for her passion. At CSUEB, the very school she graduated summa cum laude, has established a scholarship fund for students with disabilities. The studies she was part of pushed the FDA’s research of MPS VI leaps and bounds ahead of what they were.
President Trump’s latest decision is what is putting Bueso’s life in danger. Those who were previously protected by the deferred action were notified that their stay in the U.S. has been declined and they had 33 days left before they were deported or they would be detained by ICE. The change was never publicly announced, the families were sent letters instead, according to Hollywood Life. While the Trump Administration has currently backtracked from their plan, the changes are still in place. In other words, Bueso and her family are still at risk of being deported back to Guatemala.
Although Bueso has been able to receive medical treatment by the USCIS, she will be returning to a government akin to the United States, with the current President of Guatemala has no political experience, and is a former television comedian.
For someone like Bueso, going back to Guatemala is the same as stepping into her own grave. Guatemala is still recovering from a 36-year-long civil war. There have been issues with Guatemala’s political climate, according to this year’s World Report done by Human Rights Watch. Their congress approved the “Life and Family Protection” bill through a preliminary vote that discriminates against the LGBT community and criminalizes abortion. The prison sentence for abortion and miscariges were raised from three years to 10 years.
While Bueso’s medical treatments may be getting taken away, the support for her has never left. A petition for Bueso has been started online with more than 130,000 signatures and counting. Students from her alma mater, Cal State East Bay, have organized a rally on Sept. 6 in support of Bueso and people who are in a similar situation. Titled “The March for Immigrant Rights,” the students and protestors alike will march in solidarity to Downtown Hayward’s city hall, letting their voices be heard by those who will listen.