On August 26th, 2019, WBUR reported that United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been sending out notification letters stating that the agency is no longer going to consider deportation waivers for immigrants with serious medical issues. Instead, these matters will be handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Evidence that Policy Has Changed in Boston
Currently, there is considerable confusion surrounding this issue. The federal government has not publicly announced any official changes to the medical waiver program. However, there is substantial evidence coming from communities all around the greater Boston area that suggests that there have been major changes.
Anthony Marino of the Irish International Immigrant Center told reporters from WBUR that last week nearly a half dozen of his clients — people with medical conditions that are generally approved for deportation waivers — received virtually identical denial letters.
Within these letters, one of which was obtained and printed by WBUR, there is language that suggests that USCIS is ending the medical deferral program altogether. This comes despite the fact that nothing has been officially announced and many families are living with deep stress and frustration.
A Potential Death Sentence for Immigrants
It is impossible to overstate the cruelty and callousness of this type of sudden policy shift. As explained in a report from the Boston Globe, sick children who are patients at Boston-area children’s hospitals are now facing potential removal from the United States. An advocate bluntly states in the story that our government is handing these children a “death sentence.” In several cases reported on by WBUR, undocumented immigrant parents of chronically ill children have received the impending deportation letters.
Putting a Human Face on the Problem
MassLive published a story on this topic that helps to put a real human face on this problem. Jonathan Sanchez, a 16-year-old child, has been getting treatment for severe cystic fibrosis in the Boston Children’s Hospital for the last three years. His mother says that he has made significant progress during that time and that he was “nearly dying” when he first arrived for treatment.
The family has reportedly received one of these letters from USCIS. They are now terrified that they are weeks away from facing deportation from the United States — and the potential loss of necessary and life saving medical care for their young son. This is horrific. Our law firm will closely monitor this issue for updates.
Set Up a Case Evaluation With Our Boston, MA Immigration Attorney Right Away
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our top-rated Massachusetts immigration lawyers are committed to achieving successful results for our clients. We handle the complete range of immigration law matters. For a fully private immigration consultation, please call us now at (617) 722-0005. With an office location in Boston, we serve clients all around the region, including in Brookline, Waltham, Framingham, Lowell, Lawrence, Salem, Brockton, Somerville, and Newton.