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September 3, 2019

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Maria Isabel Bueso, right, with her mother, Karla Bueso, at their California home.
In the face of public outrage and condemnation by the medical community, the Trump administration announced Monday that it would reconsider its decision to deport immigrants receiving lifesaving medical treatment in the United States - via the New York Times.
Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, Adonai,
the Creator of the ends of the earth does not grow tired or weary?
His understanding cannot be fathomed.
He invigorates the exhausted, he gives strength to the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary, even the fittest may stumble and fall;
but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;
when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired.
- Isaiah 40:28-31
We have written several times recently about the Trump administration’s abrupt termination of a long-standing “deferred action” program that allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. (Catch up with our messages from August 28 and August 31.) While insisting that it was still “appropriate” to limit the deferred action program, the administration yesterday announced that it would take “immediate corrective action” to reopen and process pending applications. It did not address whether new applications would be accepted and reiterated that whether a limited version of deferred action will continue is “still under review.”

What this means for the future is unclear. But for now, for Maria Isabel Bueso, and others who were being forced to leave, there is hope. On hearing that she had a chance to stay, Ms. Bueso said, “This is amazing. This is great news to wake up to.”

Yesterday’s announcement comes as a rare piece of good news, but it’s a pause, not a reversal. It’s clear that this isn’t over, and it’s telling evidence that our voices matter. In the darkness of the Trump years, I’ve come to understand that hope is a spiritual practice. Let this rare good news encourage us as we continue to speak up and speak out.
While the administration is reconsidering its decision, it’s essential to maintain public pressure. Contact your congresspersons and the White House and insist that immigrants receiving essential medical treatment in the United States be allowed to stay as long as their treatment requires. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has a form you can use if you prefer.
Eternal God, we ask you to invigorate us and renew our strength. We pray especially for immigrants receiving medical treatment and their families. Strengthen our faith and renew our hope. Amen.
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