Stay or Go? Terminally Ill Undocumented Immigrants Face Dilemma

Jan. 6, 2014 / By



La Opinion/New America Media, News Feature, Araceli Martinez Ortega

Photo: Palliative care patient Gil García García with his niece Fatima. (Read Part 1 here.) Read in Spanish.

LOS ANGELES — When Gil García García began to feel a sharp pain in his left foot, he didn’t think it was important.

“Two weeks later, I could not walk. I needed help to get up. I had a constant and bad headache,” García recalled in a quiet voice, now with little strength.

In October he was rushed to a hospital emergency room at the University of California, Davis. The diagnosis was devastating: skin cancer, or melanoma, which had invaded his head, lungs, stomach and left leg.

Facing an incurable disease

Like many undocumented immigrants who have worked a lifetime in this country, García faced a dilemma when he was diagnosed with an incurable disease.

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