The subject of deporting migrants who are trying to come into the United States has been a contentious topic for quite some time now. U.S. President Donald Trump and his advisors have tried their best to keep families and their children from entering the country, regardless of where they're from and why they're fleeing their homelands. Despite this, many changes have had to be made in order to bring in some individuals for specific reasons.
Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) backpedaled on the policy to deport children seeking life-saving medical attention. This allows children and accompanying family members to come into the U.S. if the child needs urgent medical care. In addition, the agency revealed that they will reopen all previously deferred cases that had been pending since August 7th, 2019. That was back when the agency ended the "deferred action" program originally.
USCIS revealed that they received about 1000 medical-related deferred action requests per year. Such requests are said to assist children and family members who are suffering from cancer, cerebral palsy and many more diseases and conditions. These people are often coming to the U.S. because the treatment options for diseases are little to none in their home country. Non-medical cases are also affected in this situation, such as a spouse whose partner is allowed, but the former has yet to be confirmed to stay in the U.S. But the potential life and death aspect of medical-related deferred action requests makes them all the more important.
When the program was shut down, there was never any warning that it would happen. Instead, applicants began receiving denials back in August that stated that the USCIS, “[would] no longer consider deferred action requests”. It then informed the recipient that they had 33 days to leave the U.S. USCIS informed people that such requests would now be taken care of by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But ICE seemed to be confused by this change, explaining that they didn't have a program in their agency to take over. They even went as far as to ask USCIS to clarify this change further.
The political response to the surprising news that the Trump administration planned to deport young and sick migrants was harsh, to say the least. 127 Democratic members of Congress wrote a letter to USCIS that asked them to reconsider their decision. Now that the USCIS has reversed their decision, it looks as though they got their wish.
It's going to take time to iron out kinks and assure that all will work out, but those affected are already eager to see what happens next. As for Congress, this matter will certainly be one of many points that come up during the Democratic debates. With an election set to go down next year, it's anyone's guess whether the Trump administration will make immigration easier to make more people want to reelect the President- or stick to their original policies because it's what they believe in.