Group rallies to let family, teen with rickets who are facing deportation stay in Michigan

Lawmakers and community activists rallied Wednesday behind a metro Detroit family of immigrants who is facing deportation.

The family has a teenage girl with medical problems, who has been receiving treatment here in the United States, and her mother fears her health will worsen if she's forced to leave.

Daris Bartolon said at the rally that domestic violence, poverty and her daughter Maddeline's health brought her and her children from Guatemala to the United States in 2016. 

"When we came in 2016 everything was so amazing," Maddeline said.

Maddeline, who's 15, has rickets, which causes her leg to be severely misshapen. A specialist in Chicago has been treating the teen for free.

"Having this problem, it's really difficult. The doctor told us that the only solution was surgery," Maddeline said.

Maddeline still has a long road ahead filled with more treatment and more surgery but already has seen improvement.

"I didn't have a knee so I didn't feel anything and then now it's been better and now I'm like, 'Mommy, now I have a knee I'm so happy.'"

Daris, Maddeline, and Daris' other daughter Aylin sought asylum but have yet to be granted it. Daris also has a 7-month-old son, Nicholas, who was born in the United States. 

Advocates say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement directed Daris and her two children to bring plane tickets to their appointment with ICE to use for their own deportation by the end of the year. 

Wednesday, a Catholic group called Strangers No Longer prayed outside of ICE for the family and delivered 50 letters of support to ICE's Regional Field Director, all in an effort to let the family stay.

"A lot of the gospel is about treating people that are outsiders as your brothers and sisters," said Bill O'Brien with Strangers No Longer.

Their immigration attorney is helping the family seek a stay of removal, which would allow them to make a new life here and see Maddeline get the medical treatment she needs.