Should the U.S. allow an illegal immigrant from Mexico to continue receiving $7,000-a-month lifetime medical care in Michigan? Comment below.
“Abraham will die” unless Americans pay for lifelong anti-rejection meds, says immigration attorney
Sep 19, 2019
Michigan Public Radio – Abraham Navarrete-Morales, 32, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who’s been in the U.S. for about 14 years.
He says he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure at age 24, and was on dialysis for years before receiving a kidney transplant last year.
But Morales needs multiple medications to prevent his body from rejecting the organ.
Now, he says he’s at risk of going without those medications—which cost up to $7,000 a month out of pocket—after he says his health insurance cut him off this week.
Morales’ insurer ended his coverage because his request for deferred action from deportation is still in limbo with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, despite having been submitted in November 2018.
He was first granted deferred action in 2015, which allowed him to buy private health insurance coverage.
Brad Thomson, Morales’ attorney, says despite his repeated requests for information and pleas to USCIS to act on Morales’ case, the government has not indicated when or if it might approve it. He says now, it’s a matter of life or death.
“Abraham will die without his medication. There’s no medical debate,” Thomson says. “If this application is approved, Abraham will be able to immediately re-enroll in his health insurance plan … ” Read more.
Feds reverse decision ending immigrant medical relief
Sep 19, 2019
BOSTON (AP) — The Trump administration reversed its decision Thursday to stop considering requests from immigrants seeking to defer deportation for medical treatment and other hardships, following weeks of public outcry and a congressional inquiry into the decision.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed Thursday it will resume considering “deferred action” requests on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, as it had done for years prior.
The agency said the reversal of the Aug. 7 decision was directed by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin Kealoha McAleenan, who oversees USCIS. It didn’t elaborate.
The decision to terminate the longstanding policy drew immediate criticism from doctors and immigration lawyers, particularly in Boston, where a number of the impacted families have settled to receive treatment in some of nation’s top hospitals.
Civil rights groups in the city also filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the agency hadn’t given proper public notice or justification about the termination, as the law requires.
Earlier this month, the USCIS, in a partial concession to the criticism, reopened requests from about 400 pending applicants who had been issued denial letters that also ordered them to leave the country within 33 days or risk deportation.
Despite Thursday’s announcement, House Democrats said they’ll continue to press for answers about how the termination decision came about. They also said they’ll be monitoring the agency to assure the reversal takes hold.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee that held a contentious hearing on the decision last week and has scheduled another one for next week, said:
“Because of the secrecy and obstruction surrounding this policy, we will be taking additional steps to verify that these children and their families do not need to live in fear and uncertainty. Our committee will continue to seek answers about who was responsible for this cruel policy in the first place.”
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat who was among those calling for a congressional investigation into the decision, also applauded the reversal.
“This is for all of the children and families who have been dehumanized by this cruel Administration,” she said. “When we fight, we win.”
Deferred action is a special status that allows foreign nationals to temporarily work and receive health benefits for up to two years while they or their family members receive treatment for serious medical conditions.
The renewable status doesn’t provide a pathway to citizenship and is similar to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the Trump administration is trying to undo.
The administration hasn’t said how many people currently hold the status, but says it receives about 1,000 requests a year nationwide. Most of the requests, it has said, are denied.
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