Trump Administration Lifts Freeze on Medical Deferred Action

September 27, 2019 | National

The Department of Homeland Security has said it will resume its consideration of medical deferred action requests, offering a major victory to immigrant children and families who receive life-saving medical treatment in this country.

The federal agency’s announcement comes on the heels of weeks of confusing and devastating news. First, there were the letters to the critically ill immigrants, abruptly eliminating the designation that allowed them to receive medical care without the fear of deportation. Then, there was the public outcry and conflicting responses from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.  Harrowing testimony from young people affected by the termination of the program sharpened the sense of urgency. “If I’m sent back, I will die,” 24-year-old Maria Isabel Bueso said to lawmakers at an emergency Congressional hearing on September 11.

When the Department of Homeland Security notified Congress one week after the emergency hearing that it would reverse its misguided revocation of medical deferred action, it was, as Rep. Jamie Raskin, said, “[A] moment of good news.” That’s a moment of good news achieved by immigrant families, advocates and Congressional intervention. Here’s to many good moments to come.

Read DHS’s comments to Congress.