Jorge Mariscal of Chicago, Illinois is a graphic design student who has lived in America illegally for 23 years. When Jorge was a year old, his mother, Sonia Lopez, smuggled him over the border from Mexico into the United States. From the age of 16, he required dialysis, and at 24 years old, he found himself in need of a kidney transplant. Despite his illegal status and without fear of prosecution or deportation, Jorge brazenly stepped forward and demanded that a Chicago hospital provide him with a benefit he has no legal right to — a free kidney.
Originally, for lack of legal status, Mariscal thought a kidney transplant was out of the question here in the U.S. and contemplated returning to Mexico, perhaps in hopes of filching a fresh kidney from a headless corpse.
After hearing Jorge’s story, Reverend José Landaverde from Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission, located in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, felt duty-bound to help the man. José said, “Jorge is [sic] a lot of hope for the community. I believe that the Gospel moves us to be in solidarity with one another.”
Before condoning illegal immigrants participating in unlawful behavior, Fr. Landaverde should really brush up on Romans:13:1-7, which says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.”
Nonetheless, thanks to the reverend’s activism, Jorge stayed in America and continued to defy the law. Then, after eight years of waiting for a kidney, Loyola University Medical Center succumbed to the continued pressure from José Landaverde’s group and agreed to cover the cost of transferring a kidney from his illegal border-crossing mother, Sonia, into Jorge.
In addition to Mariscal’s free treatment at Loyola, after Our Lady of Guadalupe sponsored a hunger strike in June, the hospital also agreed to assess another illegal immigrant, Lorenzo Arroyo, for a liver transplant. Arroyo’s brother Elfego was also placed on the transplant waiting list at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.