CONCORD (KPIX 5) — Isabel Bueso receives weekly, lifesaving treatments at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, but the Trump administration’s immigration policies had threatened to cut it off.
Then she got an early Christmas present. After months of limbo and fear — facing the threat of deportation — she now can remain in the U.S. for at least two more years.
“It just feels like a huge relief,” Bueso told KPIX 5. “I’m still trying to process it to be honest because it’s been so long.”
Bueso was in the U.S. legally. She was invited by her doctors to participate in a clinical study of a groundbreaking treatment when she was seven years old. She has a rare genetic disorder known as MPS-6.
So she and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala to begin the lifesaving treatment.
Back in August, the family was shocked to learn that their stay would not be extended. They had 33 days to leave the country or risk deportation.
“I feel like the whole world was shutting down, because I know the need of my daughter to be in this country,” said Isabel’s mother Karla Bueso.
A public outcry followed.
Bueso testified in Washington in September, asking lawmakers to save the program that has kept her alive. The federal agency later announced it would reconsider deferred action requests.
Last week, a letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delivered the official decision. She can stay for now.
“I learned to not be afraid to speak up, from your heart, and to know that your voice matters,” said Bueso.
East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier used his voice to help keep Bueso in the country.
“Now we have a bill that would allow her family to stay here on a permanent basis given her medical situation and how she’s been here legally the whole time,” said DeSaulnier, who represents the Bueso family’s home district.
The Bueso family says it feels grateful for the support from lawmakers and people all over the country. They believe without proper treatment, deportation would have been fatal for Isabel.