Trump walks back plan to end deportation protections for sick migrants

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Monday that it will reopen the process that helped some seriously ill migrants to defer deportation while receiving life-saving care in the U.S.

The announcement over the long holiday weekend came after the administration quietly halted the protections for sick migrants earlier this month, prompting backlash from immigrant advocates and members of Congress.

The “deferred action” program allows migrants in the country illegally to avoid deportation for compelling reasons, such as if they are in need of critical medical care.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service sent letters on Aug. 7 to every applicant petitioning for renewal in the program to tell them they had just weeks to leave the country or face deportation.

Families who thought they were safe suddenly faced the prospect of being forced to leave the country, which critics like Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey called “a de facto death sentence” for migrants receiving health care only available to them in the U.S.

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