For Immediate Release
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(NEW YORK, NY) August 28, 2019: According to AP, the Trump administration has eliminated a protection that lets immigrants remain in the country and avoid deportation while they or their relatives receive life-saving medical treatments or endure other hardships, immigration officials said in letters issued to families this month. The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) Director of the LegalHealth Division, Randye Retkin, has issued the following statement:
“It’s horrifying that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has delivered such a life-threatening blow to immigrants with extreme medical needs. These are children and adults with cancer, in need of organ transplants and other life-threatening conditions. As a medical-legal partnership providing free legal services at 36 hospitals in New York, we have firsthand knowledge that this program helps save lives. USCIS, the administrative arm of DHS, has the power to grant deferred action, and they have considered urgent requests from patients with no other options for more than a decade. Now, immigrants have been directed to file with ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS. As a result, many may be too terrified to even seek this remedy.
“This unannounced departure from immigration procedure is a direct attack on vulnerable immigrant populations with life-threatening illnesses, and we will fight against the change in order to protect our clients and their families. We are thankful to our partners at NYC Health + Hospitals for their unwavering commitment to New Yorker’s health, regardless of immigration status.”
Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading not-for-profit legal services organization advocating for adults, children, and families that are experiencing poverty or have low-income. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, financial counseling, a medical-legal partnership model, and community education and partnerships.