USA may kick out Barbados mother while child treated for cancer

UPDATED: August 27, 2010 5pm – Good News!

Barbados Mother of Sick Child Told She Can Stay in US

ATLANTA – A mother from Barbados who was being told she may have to leave her critically ill daughter in Atlanta received some good news Friday. Petra Gooding says her immigration attorney got a call Friday morning from immigration. They were told they are working on extending her visa to allow her to stay in the country until November.

full story at Fox 5 News

BFP’s Original story…

Petrah Gooding may have to leave 7 year old daughter alone in USA for treatment

Thousands of illegal immigrants stream into the USA every day from Mexico and the courts and US government bends over backwards to accommodate them. That’s Mexico: this is about Barbados.

Barbados  mother Petrah Gooding applied LEGALLY to take her daughter Niamah, aged 7, for cancer treatment at Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer Centre. The USA gave the mother a nine month visa, while the daughter received 18 months because that is the length of the cancer treatment programme.

Now the USA has told the mother to leave her 7 year old daughter behind and exit the country on September 2, 2010.

To be fair, Immigration spokesperson Ana Santiago says the issue is being investigated “urgently”…

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. While we cannot discuss an individual case due to privacy laws, we are looking into this matter urgently,” Santiago said.

Ok, fair enough… but we know how the huge American Immigration bureaucracy can cause havoc and rip families apart without so much as a care.

We’ll keep our eyes on this story. Let’s hope sanity prevails.

(Our sincere thanks to BFP reader THE CHAIRMAN for bringing this story to our attention.)

Article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution online…

Foreign mother may be sent home while child treated for cancer

A mother whose daughter is suffering a rare form of cancer at an area hospital could be asked to leave early next month.

Barbados resident Petrah Gooding brought her 7-year-old daughter Niamh Stoute to Atlanta in November to be treated for neuroblastoma at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer center.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement extended Niamh’s nine-month visitor’s visa to allow her to continue receiving treatment, but Gooding was told she would have to leave her daughter’s side on Sept. 2.

“I’m at a loss for why they would approve an extension for my daughter and not for the mother who is taking care of her,” Gooding told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by phone Thursday evening.

Immigration officials declined to discuss how how Gooding was denied the same extension as her daughter, but spokeswoman Ana Santiago said the issue was being investigated.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. While we cannot discuss an individual case due to privacy laws, we are looking into this matter urgently,” Santiago said.

Terry Bird, former chief counsel for the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency typically allows foreign parents to extend their stays up to a year when they have children getting American medical treatment.

After that, the local immigration office can choose to put off sending the parent home, said Bird, who was chief counsel in Atlanta for 25 years before retiring in 2007.

“Usually, mother and child will be treated the same,” he said. “Nobody would ask the mother to go home and leave the child here alone.”

That’s what Gooding faces. The 30-year-old mother of two and the Children’s Healthcare staff are baffled…

… continue reading this article at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution link here

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health, Immigration

5 responses to “USA may kick out Barbados mother while child treated for cancer

  1. Mathilde

    thats awful and cruel to say the least

  2. rasta man

    Typical USA treatment for third world countries.

  3. reality check

    surely there is a simple mechanism at a US cancer hospital ( request by two doctors ) direct with the immigration department to extend the Mothers visa for an extra two weeks?

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    Both sanity and humanity have prevailed.
    MyFoxAtlanta.

  5. Dan

    “…US government bends over backwards to accommodate them. That’s Mexico: this is about Barbados.”

    That’s a cheap shot and a “straw man” logical fallacy. The issue has nothing to do with which country someone is from. It’s about the method by which someone enters the US. Illegal immigrants from Mexico totally circumvent immigration laws and are routinely ignored. The Barbadian citizen in this case apparently entered the US legally and was about to overstay her visa. So in essence the young woman was penalized for following US law. That’s a shame but it’s the same thing that would happen if I came to Barbados and overstayed my visitor’s visa.

    And by the way, illegal immigrants enter the US from many different countries every day. Those from Mexico receive no special treatment over other illegals; they just happen to come from a closer location. Others enter from Canada, Cuba, and the Caribbean. If they’re not detected, the government doesn’t bother them either.

    Fortunately, as Adrian said sanity has prevailed and the woman’s case was reviewed and she was shown compassion. This happens virtually *every day* in the US. The whole incident was blown out of proportion by the notoriously biased Fox News and their local station. It’s all about our national politics, not about showing preference to Mexico over Barbados.