WORLD US ends special status for immigrants with medical ailments


US ends special status for immigrants with medical ailments


07:30, August 27, 2019


Sirlen Costa, of Brazil, holds her son Samuel, 5, as her niece Danyelle Sales, right, looks on during a news conference, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Boston. (Photo: AP)

US federal immigration authorities are no longer granting special status to foreign nationals seeking to remain in the country for medical treatment or other special circumstances.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services said in letters issued this month that it’s no longer considering the requests. The only exception is for military members and their families.

Doctors, immigration lawyers and advocates in Boston on Monday criticized the decision as a “death sentence” for families seeking life-saving treatment for children fighting cancer, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other complicated conditions.

A US Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman says the policy change was effective Aug. 7.

She says all pending requests are being denied and families are being notified by mail. The agency estimates it receives about 1,000 non-military deferral requests annually.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue