|Helen Huynh waits for her sister arrival from Vietnam.|
A CALIFORNIA WOMAN should now be able to get the life saving treatment that immigration authorities had denied her the chance to get.KABC reports Helen Huynh of Orange County near Los Angeles has leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant. Her sister is a perfect match, but she is in Vietnam and immigration authorities had refused to grant Thuy a visa.
Wednesday (Sept. 27), after pressure from the media and support from Asian American Advancing Justice-LA, Sen, Kamala Harris, D-CA, and Representatives Alan Lowenthal, D-CA, and Lou Correa, D-CA, the government granted Thuy a temporary stay to let her come to the U.S. for the treatment.
Yvonne-Aivan Murray, Huynh’s oldest daughter, told AsAmNews she’s on her way to Vietnam to escort her aunt to the US.
“Everything happened so fast. We are so excited,” she said. “The battle is only half way over. At least now we are not fighting the US government anymore. Now we can concentrate on fighting cancer.”
This happened less than a week after the State Department told AsAmNews’ Brittney Le that would not be possible.
“U.S. visa law is clear. When a person is not eligible for a U.S. visa, consular officers have no choice but to deny the visa,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert to Le. “Since visa records are confidential under the Immigration and Nationality Act, I am not able to discuss specific visa cases such as this one.”“We are so relieved by today’s decision and commend the U.S. Department of Citizenship & Immigration Services for doing the right thing, the humane thing, in granting humanitarian parole,” said Sylvia Kim, Advancing Justice’s Orange County regional director. “We hope it is in time to save Helen Huynh’s life, which has been hanging in the balance for months.”
The family is naturally overjoyed with the news.
“My family is so relieved that my aunt Thuy will now be able to enter the United States. This is half the battle — now we can finally focus on fighting the cancer,” said Ai-Van Murray, one of Helen Huynh’s daughters.
“We have also heard from so many families who have faced similar hurdles in the visa process and we hope our family?s story will help shed light on much needed changes for bi-national families facing grave illness and death.”