Social Issues

Migrant pleads with Biden to admit dying wife’s parents for visit

By Ana Milena Varon

Los Angeles, Jan 10 (EFE).- A Colombian immigrant made a last-ditch appeal Tuesday to President Joe Biden for a humanitarian visa that would allow the parents of his terminally ill wife to enter the United States so they can be with her in her final moments.

“I beg President Biden to help me, to permit my wife spend her last days of life in peace together with the people who love her and that she can bid farewell to her parents,” Sergio Vega, 35, tells EFE from the family’s home in Concord, California.

It was less than two months ago that his wife, Paula Duran, felt ill while carrying the couple’s third child.

Both Sergio and Paula attributed her pain to a complication of the pregnancy, but doctors found that the 27-year-old woman was in the terminal stage of cancer.

“They already removed part of a tumor in her head, but it continues growing,” Vega says. “She was a woman full of life. Before this she had no health problems.”

After discovering the cancer, the doctors decided to induce labor 34 weeks into the pregnancy and Paula gave birth at the end of November to Juan Jose Vega, who is doing well.

Monday night, Duran was discharged from the hospital and sent home to enjoy the time she has left – less than a month, according to her physicians – with Sergio, daughters Luciana (9) and Julieta (4), and baby Juan.

Before leaving the hospital, Paula recorded a message to Biden seeking humanitarian visas for her and Sergio’s parents.

Immigration lawyer Jessica Dominguez, who is representing the family, told EFE that the case meets all of the requirements for the granting of humanitarian visas, but the parents’ applications were rejected by staff at the US Embassy in Bogota.

Vega, Duran and their daughters entered the US legally in May 2022 and had only begun to become accustomed to their new lives when disaster struck.

Sergio has been unable to return to work and the family is getting by thanks to support from the Colombian community in the US and from compatriots back home.

“All I ask is that they permit our parents to come so they can help me with our children at this moment and with caring for her (Paula), who needs to be accompanied 24 hours a day. I need to go back to work,” Vega says.

Word of the family’s plight reached Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who reached out to Paula Duran and promised to help with the visas for her parents, but the last word belongs to the US government. EFE amv/dr

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