NPR reported the most horrific story eked out from this federal administration yesterday, “… U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has sent out letters saying the agency will no longer consider most deferrals of deportation for people with serious medical conditions, documents show.” Medical deferred action requests are to be submitted to ICE for consideration.
“The small program, known as ‘medical deferred action,’ allows people to remain in the U.S. for two-year periods if they can prove extreme medical need. Many of the people affected by the policy change came to the U.S. through a visa or other permitted status and are requesting to stay beyond those terms to receive medical treatment.
Now, “…affected clients at the center are families whose children have cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy,” must be out of the United States within 33 days upon receiving a recent letter like this:
The Boston Globe that first reported this story, writes, “Advocates, lawyers, doctors, and lawmakers said the blanket policy change was made without any consideration of the potentially disastrous health affects it will have on children and adults battling HIV, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, leukemia, and other diseases.”
This surprise move by the administration came without warning or fan fare. It’s that wicked. A press release from Ronnie Millar, director of Irish International Immigrant Center said, “This attack on children and their families is inhumane and unjust, These families are all here receiving treatment that is unavailable in their home countries, and our government has issued them a death sentence.” He told the Boston Globe, “Just when you think the administration can’t sink any lower, it finds a new way to torture our immigrant children and families,”
The Miami Herald reported yesterday, “Some Florida examples of people applying to the program, or for renewals of their protection under the program, include a girl with an eye malignancy and another young girl with cerebral palsy, as well as the father of three American-citizen children who has a terminal liver illness, according to their attorney, Milena Portillo.”
The Miami Herald further reported, “Three officials with ICE, who asked not to be named due to fears of speaking outside official channels, told the Miami Herald that the agency was blindsided by the move from USCIS. High-level sources said that management at the agency ‘had no idea’ USCIS was transferring over deferred action responsibilities, noting that ranking officials were scrambling to respond to the unexpected move.” (See UPDATE below.)
For the life of me I cannot grasp how any person with an ounce of kindness in their hearts could support this administration. Not only does it have a bee in its bonnet about immigrants and has cloaked many of its actions against these humans, it has done the same with our environment. Lord only knows what other administration monkey-wrenching is yet to be discovered.
Clearly, based on prior treatment of immigrants seeking asylum, and now those with illnesses that will result in their death if no longer treated here, including children, humanity has left the White House. The New Yorker reported recently, “In the past year and a half, seven children have died in immigration custody, and there have been widespread complaints about the conditions in which children are being held.”
Let the immigrant children die. They mean nothing to this administration.
USCIS said this week that another agency — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — would now be handling those requests.
On Wednesday, however, ICE rejected this claim. An ICE official told WBUR that the agency was not informed by USCIS that USCIS would stop processing the deferral requests. “There is no program at ICE that’s going to take over that function,” the ICE official said.
“ICE is not going to implement any sort of a program or procedure or policy to take over that function,” the ICE official said. “We’d like USCIS to clarify what they mean, and we’re working collaboratively to get them to be a little more forthcoming about it.”