Mom faces deportation as son fights kidney failure


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An Oregon mother could be deported as her 5-year-old son battles a life-threatening kidney disorder.

Yisel Salazar’s mother brought her to the United States when she was a child and she’s had legal immigrant status for years under the deferred action.

She recently received a letter from immigration officials giving her 33 days to leave the country or face deportation.

“I was in shock, I was in shock because I wasn’t expecting that,” Salazar said. “I’ve been doing everything they ask for, I have a clean record, I try and do everything right.”

She’s been allowed to live in the US under deferred action but the Trump administration decided to cancel virtually the entire program.

Despite all this going on right now, Salazar said her number 1 concern is her son’s health.

The 29-year-old mom lives in Redmond with her husband and 3 kids. She comes to Portland once a month or more to take her son to OHSU.

“I’m worrying about my kids,” she said. “Who will they be staying with? I’m pretty much alone here in Oregon.”

Five-year-old Anthony is on dialysis 12 hours a day and waiting for a kidney transplant.

“He was born with it, that means his kidneys don’t function,” she said. “He’s been on dialysis for about a year now.”

Several groups held a peaceful vigil Wednesday in support of Salazar in the Pearl District in front of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Portland field office.

Organizer Marcelle Furrow-Kiebler said it breaks her heart to see what Salazar is going through.

“As the mother of a son who has spent some time in the hospital and I’ve never been more terrified in my life than when I was fighting to get my kid the care that he needed, I just cannot imagine to add deportation proceedings to everything she’s doing,” she said.

Salazar said she’s hopeful she’ll be able to remain at her son’s side.

“It’s really important he has a mother,” Salazar said. “I mean I want to get the best help for my son and I want to make sure he gets done whatever he needs to get done on time.”

A few days ago she got another letter from the agency, saying despite the policy change, it has decided to reconsider certain cases, including hers.

If deferred action is still not granted, Salazar’s lawyer said they’ll go to court to fight deportation.

For now, she’s doing everything she can to stay calm and focus on her family.

“I’m actually calm. I told my social workers and I told everybody the same thing,” she said. “I just don’t have time to be stressing out about these things.”

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