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Lawmakers walk back US immigration law medical policy change

Immigrants in Louisiana probably feel like this is an extremely uncertain period of time. U.S. immigration law is rapidly changing, and new policies that affect specific programs can be very confusing. What might be even more confusing is when policy changes are suddenly reversed, and those affected by these ongoing changes and reversals are not sure of where they stand.

A deferred action program that allows immigrants to defer deportation if they are receiving medical care for certain illnesses was recently brought to a halt because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was no longer in charge of the decisions. However, just as quickly as the policy was changed, it was quickly reversed. USCIS will continue to work on this deferral program, although in a limited capacity.

One of the biggest impacts of this reversal is for immigrants who received letters saying they would have to discontinue medical care and leave the country. They were given only a few weeks' notice. USCIS will now be in charge of re-evaluating the cases for immigrants who recently received these letters. It is not clear how the agency will address individuals who were unable to submit renewal application by the Aug. 7, 2019 deadline.

This is not a complete reversal of the policy change, but it is significant. How it will impact individual immigrants is not entirely clear, though. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with U.S. immigration law should be able to explain these ongoing changes and how they affect Louisiana immigrants more clearly.

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