Trump Administration Reverses Course on Plan to End Immigration Medical Relief Exemptions

In late August 2019, the Trump Administration announced its intent to revoke medical exemptions from individuals that had provided them with deferred deportation. Those with medical exemptions generally have family members who are undergoing life-saving medical treatment in the U.S. that is unavailable in their home countries. The federal government quietly notified families with medical exemptions that it was rescinding permission for them to remain in the country and were allowing them 33 days in which to leave.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not make the policy change public or allow any opportunity for the public to review or comment before implementing the change. Instead, the government sent letters to each family, telling them to leave the country on their own.

Trump Administration Reverses Course on Plan to End
Immigration Medical Relief Exemptions

The backlash to the policy change was immediate and harsh. Many legislators pointed to the fact that if any of these individuals were removed from medical treatment and returned them to their native countries, they would die immediately.

A few days later, the Trump Administration abruptly reversed course, announcing that it would reopen the deferred deportation process for eligible immigrants based on medical needs. USCIS stated that it would reconsider the deferral requests filed as of August 7, 2019, for which agency employees had recently denied relief. This is the date to which USCIS made its previous policy change retroactive. However, it remains far from clear whether individuals submitting applications for medical deferral after August 7, 2019, will be able to seek relief. Immigration advocates fear that the reconsideration of these applications constitutes only a brief reprieve for immigrant families facing these issues.

Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.

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