Things That Matter

ICE Is Trying To Deport A Woman Battling Cancer But Her Son Is Doing All He Can To Stop It

A 24-year-old doctoral candidate at Yale University and Dreamer is garnering public support in his attempt to stop his mother, who is recovering from Stage 4 cancer, from being deported. Cristian Padilla Romero says his mother Tania Romero, a Honduran immigrant and mother of four, is facing deportation after being arrested for a traffic violation. Cristian claims Tania’s condition will worsen if she is deported. 

The son created a petition asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “be humane and release my mother to fight her case outside of detention and so she can fully recover from a long battle against cancer.” Since it went up last week it has gotten 29,292 signatures of 30,000 required. 

“Nobody really deserves to be detained by ICE, but my mom in particular, who’s recovering from cancer and whose health is very fragile at the moment, really needs to be released as soon as possible,” Cristian told the Yale Daily News.

Tania Romero faces deportation after a traffic stop.

According to the college paper, Tania was pulled over for a traffic violation in August in Gwinnett, County, Georgia. The following day she was placed in ICE detention where she still is today and faces seemingly imminent deportation. Moreover, the 48-year-old has been recovering from Stage 4 oral cancer and has been receiving ongoing treatment. 

“I grew up in this country. My mother is the single biggest reason I am at a school like Yale,” Cristian told the New York Times. “She guided me, worked three jobs to support me.” 

Tania brought Cristian, who is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, to the United States when he was 7 years old. Tania arrived herself two decades ago and raised her four kids in Atlanta. She kept multiple jobs as a housekeeper, dishwasher, and laundromat attendant before settling into full-time construction work. 

“If deported to Honduras she would certainly face a decline in her health, if not death, as the country lacks proper facilities to treat oral cancer, an overall shortage of advanced medication and treatments for cancer survivors,” Cristian told The Hill

ICE failed to deliver a 2008 issue for removal according to Cristian. 

ICE claims that Tania was issued an order of removal in 2008 because she failed to attend hearings in immigration court. However, Cristian learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that Tania did not receive any of the three notices asking her to appear in court. 

The FOIA request showed that all of the letters had been returned to ICE by the United States Postal Service. Although Tania was aware she an undocumented immigrant she did not know there was an issue for her removal until 2018. 

“The agency’s general position has been that undocumented immigrants are not automatically entitled to stay in the country, even in cases of people who are receiving life-saving medical treatment,” according to the New York Times

Tania’s condition worsens while in ICE detention. 

In 2016, Tania was diagnosed with oral cancer but by then it was already at Stage 4. The mother has endured surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and has suffered damage to her jaw. 

“It’s very hard for her to eat in general, and we are really concerned about her health in detention, where she is not receiving any special accommodation,” Cristian told the New York Times

Health staff at the ICE facility where Tania is staying found that she had a severe B12 deficiency and required hospitalization. However, Cristian says she was never hospitalized and required her lawyer to intervene to even receive remedial B12 injections. 

“The other thing is that they are in a big room with a hundred other people, with bunk beds, and only turn off the lights for a few hours at night, maybe 1 to 4 a.m., so she doesn’t get any profound or significant rest,” Cristian told The New Yorker

Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA) and others get involved.

Representative Lucy McBath, who unseated an incumbent in the 2018 Democratic sweep, and who represents Cristian’s district has tried to intervene at ICE. According to The Hill, ICE has agreed to halt Tania’s deportation until the agency meets with McBath’s staff. 

“Cristian’s story is not the only story like this,” said Miriam Feldblum, who vice president for student affairs at Pomona College when Cristian attended undergrad there. “Students on campuses across the country are struggling with immigration issues. Their parents are in deportation. They are in limbo.”

Cristian’s classmates at Yale have also shown their support. They’ve written letters and organized phone banks to thwart Tania’s deportation. 

“Sending my mother back to Honduras would be a death sentence. We’re not going to stop our work until she is released,” Cristian told the New York Times. 

While Tania’s future remains uncertain, in the meantime, you can donate to the family’s GoFundMe.

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A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

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A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

tps_alliance / Instagram

Updated September 23, 2020

A coalition of people is coming together to stand up for Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries. Federal judges recently gave the Trump administration the approval to end the status for 300,000 people in the U.S.

A group of Temporary Protect Status holders is on a road trip to save the program for 300,000 people.

The National TPS Alliance is driving across the country to engage voters about the need to protect the program. The “Road to Justice” road tour started in Los Angeles and will be stopping in 54 cities in 32 states. The tour ends in Washington, D.C. where the TPS holders will petition Congress directly to save the program.

The program was started in 1990 and offers safe refuge for people who’s countries have experienced disaster, civil unrest, or other extraordinary circumstances. Some people who have been granted TPS in the U.S. include Central Americans after Hurricane Mitch, the second-largest hurricane in the Atlantic, devastated large swaths of the region in 1998. Haitians were also given TPS after the earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince in 2010.

The organization is hoping to engage voters and get them to care about the immigration crisis facing the nation. Activists have already praised the group and pledged to support their cause at the ballot box.

“We are going to vote for justice, for the TPS community,” Angélica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told NBC News. “President (Trump) and his administration are racist and do not care about the damage they are causing to our community.”

Original: A federal court just handed a huge ‘victory’ to the Trump administration, which has been eager to restart mass deportations. Despite a global health pandemic, the administration has been pressing forward with plans to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Until now, many of these migrants were safe from deportation thanks to Temporary Protected Status, which shields some immigrants from deportation under humanitarian claims. However, the recent court decision – in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit – gives Trump exactly what he wants right before the elections.

But how will it affect immigrant communities across the country? Here’s everything you need to know about this major decision.

The 9th Circuit Court just ended TPS for more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants.

A California appeals court on Monday gave the Trump Administration permission to end Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan, clearing the way for officials to force more than 300,000 immigrants out of the country.

The decision affects people from all walks of life, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, have U.S.-born children and have been considered essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week’s ruling from the circuit court comes after a district court (also in California) temporarily halted Trump’s plan to end TPS in late 2018 after a group of lawyers sued, arguing that Trump was motivated by racial discrimination.

“The president’s vile statements about TPS holders made perfectly clear that his administration acted out of racial animus,”Ahilan Arulanantham, a lawyer for the ACLU of Southern California, wrote in a statement. “The Constitution does not permit policy to be driven by racism. We will seek further review of the court’s decision.”

But today’s 2-1 decision reversed the district court’s temporary order and allowed the federal government to take away TPS protections while the court case continues.

ICE and DHS has promised to wait several months before taking away TPS status if the agency won in court. As a result, the ACLU told NPR that it expects the protections to start ending no sooner than March, meaning that Joe Biden could reverse the administration’s decision if he wins in November, though the organization plans to fight back in the meantime.

Temporary Protected Status was created to protect people in the U.S. from being sent back to dangerous places – and it’s saved lives.

Credit: Daniel Ortega / Getty Images

The TPS program was first introduced in 1990, and it has protected immigrants from more than 20 countries at various points since then. More than 300,000 people from 10 different nations currently use the program, some of whom have lived and worked in the United States for decades.

Trump has sharply criticized the program, sometimes along racial lines, and in one infamous and widely criticized incident two years ago, the president reportedly referred to the program’s beneficiaries as “people from shithole countries.”

TPS provides protection for short periods of up to 18 months, but the federal government has continuously extended it for the countries mentioned in the lawsuit “based on repeated findings that it remains unsafe to return.” 

As a result, it said, most TPS holders have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade, contributing to their communities and raising their families. Many of the more than 200,000 U.S.-citizen children of TPS holders have never been to the country their parents are from and would have to choose between their families and their homes.

The ruling will have a major impact on migrant families and communities across the U.S.

Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Immigration advocacy groups are slamming the court’s ruling, noting it will impact hundreds of thousands of TPS holders as well as their families and communities. In a statement, Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said the decision will “plunge their lives into further turmoil at a time when we all need greater certainty.” 

As the global pandemic stretches on, immigrants with protected status make up a large portion of the country’s front-line workers. More than 130,000 TPS recipients are essential workers, according to the Center for American Progress. 

“TPS recipients have deep economic and social roots in communities across the nation,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “And, as the U.S. responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPS recipients are standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans and doing essential work.”

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Brazilian Researchers 3D-Print Part Of The Face For Cancer Survivor

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Brazilian Researchers 3D-Print Part Of The Face For Cancer Survivor

@mr_nobody / Twitter

A Brazilian cancer survivor has been fitted with a prosthetic eye and face to cover the hole that a devastating bout of skin cancer left. Denise Vicentin, 52, beat her cancer a decade ago and has since been living without a part of her jaw and her right eye ever since. Vicentin was so self-conscious about her battle scars, she became afraid to go out in public. People would stare at her everywhere she went and, soon, her social life and marriage fell apart. “[Before] when I was on the metro or train, I tried not to pay attention to the stares. At places like the bowling alley, I felt them looking, and the person would even leave when they saw me,” she told the Daily Mail.

Ten years later, researchers were able to create a custom prosthetic using just a smartphone camera and a 3D printer. Now, she feels like she has her ‘missing piece’ and says she is so happy that she even sleeps with it on.

Years ago, she was offered a hand-made prosthetic, but it would have cost her half a million dollars.

CREDIT: @MR_NODOBY / TWITTER

A portion of her right jaw was removed, making it difficult for her to eat and slurring her speech. One of Vicentin’s most painful wounds left behind by the cancer was her inability to navigate throughout society without being ostracized or made to feel different. When doctors offered her the opportunity to have a prosthetic made for her, she had no choice but to turn it down. It would have cost over half a million U.S. dollars. 

Waiting for the right moment may have paid off for Vicentin. As technology has advanced, the capabilities of 3-D printing are only just now being realized. Vicentin sought out an alternative treatment at São Paulo’s Paulista University just last year and is already walking into 2020 with a new lease on self-confidence.

The final prosthesis just took 12 hours to create and a fraction of the cost thanks to 3-D printing technology.

CREDIT: @VAZIYETCOMTR / TWITTER

The research team at Paulista University formulated a plan to give Vicentin her ‘missing piece.’ Vicentin would have to undergo several surgeries over the next year in order to fit the prosthesis. Then, the doctors took 15 photos of Vicentin’s right eye socket from a simple smartphone. From there, they were able to use all the images to digitize a 3-D model that would eventually become the blueprint for the 3-D printer. 

The final model was printed and refined in just 12 hours, from a mixture of silicone, resin, and synthetic fibers. After the 3-D printer created the technical piece that would sit flush on Vicentin’s face, a bit of human artistry was applied to make the prosthetic as realistic as possible. The researchers painted the prosthetic to match Vicentin’s exact eye hue and skin color. They even individually secured lashes to resemble that of her other eyelid.

The research team has been perfecting 3-D prosthetics since 2016, offering new levels of confidence to over 50 patients so far.

CREDIT: @CANAL_44 / TWITTER

Dr. Rodrigo Salazar has specialized in maxillofacial prosthetics for the last few years and has married technology with medicine to create lasting change for his patients. In order to get a proper model for a prosthetic, he used to have to create a mold of the patient’s face, on the patient’s face. Today, he needs only a smartphone camera to capture the necessary data to create a model prosthetic. 

Vicentin never expected skin cancer to become a defining chapter of her life.

CREDIT: @VAZIYETCOMTR / TWITTER

When Vicentin was in her early 20s, she found a strange growth on her face and went to the doctor. It was a tumor, but it was benign, non-cancerous. She had it surgically removed and thought that was the end of it. It returned again, once again, benign. She had it removed a second time and enjoyed nearly 20 more years tumor-free. Ten years ago, the tumor came back, but it was malignant, slowly ravaging the right side of her face.

Today, Vicentin has titanium hooks surgically placed around her eye socket in order to be able to securely wear the prosthesis and take it off when she pleases. So far, Vicentin has been wearing the prosthetic for just a month and she loves it. ‘It was a long time looking at a face which was missing a piece, so I am so happy. I only took it off to clean it – I even slept with it,” Vicentin told the Daily Mail

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