Last month, the Trump Administration took steps to end a medical relief policy that allows undocumented migrants to stay in the United States while they receive life-saving treatments for serious medical conditions. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), deferred action is “a discretionary determination to defer a deportation of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.” While deferred action has never been a path to citizenship, it does allow individuals and families to work in the United States while seeking treatment for physical and mental illnesses.
In early August, the USCIS sent letters to people with pending cases to explain this sudden procedural shift. These letters confirm that the agency is no longer accepting requests for deferred action based on medical conditions and that unauthorized immigrants with pending cases could face forcible removal if they fail to leave the country within 33 days.
The USCIS Faces Intense Public & Political Backlash
Lawmakers and immigration advocates across the country have expressed outrage over this controversial policy change, with Senator Edward Market of Massachusetts tweeting, “Kids with cancer, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy are now being told that they must leave the country or be put in the hands of ICE. We cannot and will not let this stand.” Also, earlier this week, nearly 130 congress members and Democratic senators sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli to protest this “cruel” and inhumane” policy change.
After suffering intense public backlash, the USCIS announced that it would re-open some non-military deferred action cases that were still pending on August 7, 2019, the day the new policy took effect. Theoretically, unauthorized immigrants can apply to ICE for a “stay of deportation or removal,” but only if they’re facing immediate deportation. The agency does not, however, accept applications for medical deferment.
Do You Require Legal Guidance or Representation? Call Today!
Contact the immigration attorneys at Guerra Sáenz, PL if you’re facing deportation or have questions about your medical deferral application. Our Board Certified expert in immigration law can help you navigate this challenging legal process and, if necessary, represent your rights and interests in court.
Call Guerra Sáenz, PL at (888) 936-3228 to arrange a confidential consultation.