Rep. Judy Chu last week joined a list of some 100 lawmakers in signing a letter demanding answers about the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service’s decision to end consideration of non-military deferred action requests, including medical deferred action, for immigrants facing deportation, her office announced.
Chu, whose 27th Congressional District includes South Pasadena, was joined by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Rep. Lou Correa (Calif.), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (Calif.), Sen. Edward Markey (Mass.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and over 103 additional lawmakers.
The letter went to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Acting U.S. Customs and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli and Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Matthew T. Albence.
It calls on the agencies to reverse this decision and turn over any documents discussing the policy change by Sept. 13.
Medical deferred action provides temporary relief from deportation for immigrants and their families with life-threatening health conditions that cannot be properly treated if they were deported.
Earlier this month, applicants for medical deferred action began receiving letters from USCIS rejecting their request for deportation deferral and notified them that they have 33 days to depart the country or risk deportation.
USCIS did not issue a public announcement of the medical deferred action policy change, nor did the agency provide an opportunity for public comment, Chu said in a release.
According to news reports, USCIS is also forcing applicants to apply for medical deferred action through ICE, even though ICE claims it does do not have any existing protocols that will allow it to process medical
deferred action applications.