Ixcell Perez is a 14-year-old United States citizen suffering from leukemia. She was living in Chiapas, Mexico when she was diagnosed. Her mother Dalia traveled to the US border at San Ysidro and was planning to take her daughter to her birthplace in Raleigh, North Carolina so she could receive live-saving medical treatment. After being detained and treated with callous disregard for two days, both Ixcell and her mother were denied entry into the US. (see video above)
A relative living in the United States traveled to San Ysidro and managed to get Ixcell across the border. But Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) officials again refused to allow her mother to enter the country. They separated Dalia from her stricken child.
A local grassroots group formed in the Raleigh / Durham area to help Dalia and her family. The congressman who represents Ixcell’s district, Rep. David Price, wrote a letter urging the CBP to issue a visa on humanitarian grounds. Ixcell’s pediatric oncologist wrote letters urging that Dalia be granted a visa so she can be with her child during painful and debilitating cancer treatments. Ixcell needs the moral support and comfort of her mother as she fights this potentially fatal disease.
“Nurses know how important it is to have a loved one at your side when you struggle through a difficult treatment like this,” said Bonnie Castillo, National Nurses United (NNU) Executive Director. “By blocking her mother at the border, this Administration is causing harm and lasting trauma to both the child and mother. The pain of Ixcell’s illness is being compounded by the added stress of being separated from her mother. The last thing a child needs is this kind of toxic stress when she should be saving all of her physical and emotional strength to fight her cancer.”
On July 25, Dalia again tried to cross the border with those letters of support, this time accompanied by an attorney from Al Otro Lado. After detaining her for hours, the director of the San Ysidro Port Authority ordered her attorney to leave the building and denied Dahlia entry into the United States.