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Who Makes These Decisions? ICE Set to Deport Mom and Sole Caregiver of 8-Year-Old Cancer Patient

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This is What Inhumanity Looks Like When it Infects a Bureaucracy

Throughout the country, we are seeing evidence of how the Trump Administration and ICE are engaged in a sweeping and indiscriminate effort to ramp up deportations.  However, the sheer cruelty of the deportations being enacted in our name and with our taxpayer dollars remains under-appreciated.

As El Paso’s CBS affiliate describes in a story titled, “Young Cancer Fighter Could Lose Mother in New Battle,” ICE is set to deport the mother — the sole caretaker — of 8-year-old Alia Escobedo who is battling a rare form of lung cancer.  Alia’s father was killed in Mexico, prompting her mother, Maria De Loera, to apply for asylum in the US.  Ultimately, the government granted Maria a stay of deportation so that she can remain with her daughter while she receives treatment.  This stay was renewed until this year, when the Trump Administration callously reversed it and told Maria she has to leave.

Meanwhile, South Florida resident and cancer patientReina Gomez continues to fight deportation to Honduras after fifteen years in the United States. Gomez, who fled Honduras due to violence and an abusive relationship, has a “rare form of leukemia that could not be properly treated in Honduras because of a lack of medicines,” as the Sun-Sentinel describes. After public outcry, Gomez was given two more weeks to make her case.  Otherwise, she will be deported in October.  To Gomez and her doctor, this amounts to a “death sentence.”

Earlier this year we highlighted the story of Sara, a 26-year-old undocumented woman being detained in Texas, despite being diagnosed with a brain tumor.  After being detained for over a year, Sara began to complain of headaches. She collapsed on February 10, 2017, and soon thereafter, she was diagnosed with a benign but large pituitary tumor.

ICE agents refused to let her speak with family, lawyers, or even the hospital chaplain—at first declining to even tell her family which hospital she was being treated at.  In the midst of treatment, she was abruptly taken back to the immigration detention facility in shackles.  Eventually, a judge ordered her release, but only after weeks of dangerous and inhumane treatment at the hands of ICE.

Said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

‘Unshackled’ and with the full blessing of the White House, Trump’s deportation agents have reached a new level of cruelty. Deporting cancer patients so that they can’t continue their life-sustaining treatment?  Taking an eight-year-old’s mom away, leaving the child to battle a rare form of cancer alone?  This is what inhumanity looks like when it’s allowed to infect a bureaucracy.  History will judge us by how we act.  It’s time for Members of Congress and all Trump Administration bureaucrats to decide which side they are on: do you support mass deportation at all costs and consequences, or will you stand up for the basic American values of dignity and humanity?