Save Isabel

September 3, 2019
DeSaulnier Digest

Last week, the world was introduced to Isabel Bueso, a 24 year-old Concord resident who came to the United States from Guatemala at age 7 to participate in a clinical trial for a rare genetic disease. Isabel receives weekly treatments at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, and her participation in groundbreaking clinical trials has given hope to Americans with rare diseases.

Due to an abrupt and unexplained change in policy by the Trump Administration, Isabel and her family received notice that if she did not leave the country within 33 days, she would be deported. Leaving the United States would leave Isabel without the drug that keeps her alive, essentially handing her a death sentence.

We are doing everything we can to help Isabel and other immigrants who are affected by the Trump Administration’s policy. The outpouring of support for Isabel from Contra Costa residents has inspired us, and we will take you on the journey with us as we seek answers. Read on to find out what actions we are taking, both in Washington and at home, to #SaveIsabel.

Mark DeSaulnier
Member of Congress


In this week's Digest, you will find information on Congressman DeSaulnier's:

  • Efforts to #SaveIsabel;
  • Town halls across CA-11; and
  • Prescription drug roundtable with John Muir Health.


Legislative Efforts to Protect Isabel and her Family

The Bueso family has followed every rule - they came here legally, paid their taxes, and Isabel's participation in clinical trials has led to new treatments approved by the FDA. Mark is fighting to do everything in his power to help Isabel and her family remain here.

Today, Mark announced the introduction of a private bill (H.R. 4225) to allow Isabel Bueso to remain in the United States to continue to receive treatment for her rare, life-threatening disease. A few weeks ago, families were blindsided when they received notification from USCIS that they were being forced to leave the country within 33-days. Re-opening cases is no guarantee they will be allowed to stay and it is not a permanent solution. These families need and deserve decisive action. This bill would provide Isabel and her family with permanent resident status so they can remain in the United States without fear of removal.

In addition to introducing a private bill, Congressman DeSaulnier was joined by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in sending a letter petitioning the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, to re-review the cases of the Bueso family. He also co-led an effort with Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to DHS, ICE, and USCIS demanding answers on USCIS’s decision to end consideration of non-military deferred action requests, including medical deferred action. In the letter, which was joined by over 100 additional lawmakers, he called on the agencies to reverse this decision and turn over any documents discussing the policy change by September 13, 2019.

Mark joined Joy Reid on the Rachel Maddow Show to discuss efforts to #SaveIsabel

Rachel Maddow described the situation with a report on Isabel 

Mark joined NBC Bay Area to discuss Isabel’s case


A terrific crowd of almost 500 people joined us at Campolindo High School in Moraga for a town hall on climate change and the environment.

Another packed house in Antioch for a joint town hall with Congressman Jerry McNerney

Together with John Muir Health, Mark hosted a roundtable discussion to hear directly from physicians on how Congress can work with them to address America’s opioid crisis while also acknowledging the needs of patients with chronic pain