U.S. Immigration: Medical Relief Program

U.S. Immigration Policy & President Trump Part 3: Civil Rights Groups Fight for Immigrant Medical Relief Program

The Trump administration is being sued by The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Lawyers for Civil Rights after it announced U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would be ending “deferred action” programs for immigrants.

Last month, immigrants who requested to stay in the U.S for medical treatment and other hardships received letters informing them that pending applications would be denied and applicants would be ordered to leave the country with 33 days.

The lawsuit challenges the administration’s decisions and argues that the public wasn’t given advance notice and the necessary justification required by the law. The lawsuit also states that the decision was “driven by racial and ethnic animus,” and cites acting USCIS Director Kenneth Cuccinelli’s quote regarding the phrase “give me your tired, your poor” that is etched on the Statue of Liberty. Cuccinelli said the phrase was intended for “people coming from Europe” and not immigrants from other countries.

19 families from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa are being represented in this case, all of whom were receiving or petitioning for deferrals to treat cancer, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and other serious medical conditions.

Under “deferred action” programs, immigrants who would otherwise be considered unauthorized are allowed to work and receive health benefits if they or a family member need medical treatment. Although deferred action doesn’t have a pathway to citizenship, it does give a person temporary status that is good for two years.

USCIS said it will still review request from families of military members and deferral requests that were pending as of August 7th.

Have you received a letter from USCIS that says your deferred action request has been denied? Are you worried about being deported? Get in touch with our legal team at Davis & Associates to discuss your case with a skilled lawyer so we can find the right solution for you.

Follow along in our 5-part series on U.S. immigration policy and President Trump:

Part 1: Major Immigration Changes Under Trump
Part 2: Enhanced Immigration Enforcement
Part 4: House Democrat Bill Would Ensure Citizenship for Children of Service
Part 5: Facts About Brazilian Immigrants in the U.S. 

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