Just when you thought Trump couldn’t sink lower than separating and “imprisoning” children whose parents were seeking asylum, he did. In August, he issued death warrants for immigrant children of color being treated for life-threatening diseases in the U.S.
After the appropriate uproar, his administration partially reversed its position, summarily expelling children with such life-threatening diseases as: cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, sickle-cell anemia and Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS-6), which causes dwarfism, clouded vision, and spinal cord compression.
As things now stand, children here legally, whose parents filed for Deferred Action Medical Visas (deferred action) prior to an arbitrary August 7th deadline, are entitled to have their visa renewal requests reviewed by the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS). However, there is no guarantee, that despite their children’s life-threatening conditions, that their visas will be renewed, and it’s unclear what will happen to those seeking this protection who didn’t apply before the August 7 deadline.
Regardless of what the government does, it’s critical that those seeking extensions of these visas understand they have legal rights.
The Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment uses the same due process words to describe a legal obligation of all states. Under due process, those here on Medical Deferred Action Visas are entitled to adequate notice and the right to appeal their expulsion to a federal court.
The Supreme Court of the United States has long held that except for those Torts explicitly omitted by the Federal Torts Claims Act, lawfully admitted resident aliens have the same right to sue for personal injury as U.S. citizens. The Tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED) is not barred by the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA). Those here on “Differed Action” visas can sue the federal government for damages.
IIED creates a civil right for people suffering from emotional distress caused by those who intentionally or recklessly behave toward them in an “extreme and outrageous way.” Clearly, seeking to deport innocent children who know they will die without the medical treatment they are receiving is intentional, reckless, extreme, and outrageous.
Our president and USCIS knew/know that in issuing these expulsion orders, they were/would be signing death warrants for children who will die without continued treatment. This obsession with demonizing and brutalizing immigrants of color, undertaken by our president for political purposes, has to stop.
Surely, even the most strident anti-immigrant advocates cannot justify depriving innocent young people stricken with collapsed lungs, or removed colons, or who were invited here to participate in life-saving medical trials of the treatments they are receiving in the U.S. Their home countries do not have the medical treatments or facilities needed to keep them alive. If deported they will die.
Immigration lawyers are beginning to bring the lawsuits described in this article. Additionally, galvanizing public support for these children and holding congressional hearings are equally essential. In this “Time of Trump,” outrages will continue to come so fast and furiously that the previous “day’s” outrage can disappear from the “news cycle” with the setting sun.
This issue cannot be allowed to be erased from public consciousness by Sharpiegate, the fact that Mexico is not going to pay for his wall, or whatever new distraction/perverse entrainment Trump dreams up to distract us on his march to the 2020 election.
This is still America. We do not kill, harass, or threaten innocent children. No matter what, write and call the White House, your senators, and congressional representatives demanding that these children’s lives continue to be saved.