tv House Oversight Subcommittee on Medical Deferred Action Requests - PART 1 CSPAN September 13, 2019 2:00am-4:24am EDT
this is just over three and half hours. >> subcommittee will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at anytime today [inaudible] including for particularly ill children. we have a number of members who are waiting on today and delighted to have them without objection i will wave on [inaudible] all members of the
broader -- i now recognize myself for five minutes with an opening statement. i want to welcome all of our witnesses and their families who come from all over the country today. i want to thank them for testifying. it is hard to imagine what the past month has been like for you and for your family and i appreciate you coming forward bravely to share your stories with us. i want to extend my gratitude to ms. presley for their excellent efforts to address this current turn of events and want to thank our other witnesses for coming
today. we are here to discuss the trump administrations decisions to deport critically ill children and their families from our country. this policy is completely at odds with american values to receive life-saving treatment from our pioneering doctors and hospitals and researchers and we do not expect the government to implement life denying. last month without notifying congress the u.s. citizen and immigration services, u.s. dif, denied all nonmilitary deferred action requests most of these requests are made by sick immigrants and their families who seek to stay in the united states to receive critical medical care that is simply not available to them in their home countries. the administration decided to cast out some of the most
vulnerable and defenseless people on earth and there are families across america whose children would essentially be sentenced to death eventually by this stunningly harsh and cruel policy. you were invited to participate in the medical study in her to be that extended her life expectancy by ten years. she relies on a weekly infusion is unavailable in her country and she will tell you about it. mr. sanchez whom i have met suffers from cystic fibrosis, a disease that my family knows well and i am also the proud representative of the cystic fibrosis foundation in montgomery county which has led a campaign that is absolutely transformed the treatment of the fibrosis in primary medical research in that disease and jonathan's parents lost his older sister to the disease due to dramatically inferior and
substandard medical care in honduras. they will tell about facing the prospect to be sent back there. joaquin is from the united states suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy, visiting his grandparents who are u.s. citizens. thanks to deferred action is compared did not send them back where continuing treatment with infection and the removal of his large intestine was impossible. his mother fears of returning home would be signing his death warrant. serena, 14 -year-old, with a congenital heart condition is already gone beyond the life expectancy given to her by doctors in spain. an eight -year-old girl in miami suffering from nerve cancer relies on her dad to take her to monthly treatments in new york
for her father needs deferred action to stay with his daughter. a man from venezuela has been able to care for his wife who suffers from a brain blood malformation and his daughter has metastatic stage iv neuroblastoma at the administration told them to leave the country this month or to face deportation. this new policy threatens sick immigrants who may be forced to leave america and and their life-saving treatment. it friends u.s. citizens and lawful residents to rely on immigrant family members for financial and emotional support while they are here. it friends crucial medical research and progress by undermining clinical trials that rely on the [inaudible] officials responsible for this policy must be held accountable with their recklessness and failure to take even the most basic steps to determine the incalculable harm that would have resulted from this policy. administration's decision to
expel these immigrants with has been exacerbated by the limited time they were given leave according to medical experts 33 days is not nearly enough time to even attempt to arrange for proper continuity of medical care overseas. four days u.s. eis and i squabbled about who was responsible for the decision and how to implement it and whether there were indeed a new process or stay of request. as a bickered families were left in a panic with an all-consuming dread in terror u.s. dif claimed ice would've considered it a state request but i still nine those reports. the only recourse ice offers would require vulnerable families to risk deportation before they can request a stay of removal. this is the unnecessary collateral damage facing every family caught between this bureaucratic tug-of-war between u.s. eis and ice. it appears no one either agency contemplated or cared about the fall and locations of this change for the families involved.
this administration's recent so-called reversal of the policy does not result the life-and-death conferences faced by many more families. after the heart-wrenching reality became public the administration backtracked and announced it would reopen all deferral requests that were pending on august 7 but they are still critical questions left unanswered and will anyone who applied after august 7 is eligible for release. does the imagination plan to grant relief to those who have reopened applications connect what will happen to families that are currently receiving deferred action but will need to reapply once there to your stay expires connect without answers to these key questions demonstrations reversal appears primarily aimed at avoiding a tidal wave of criticism from the public it gives the appearance of change without necessarily altering the essence of the policy. administration must immediately and completely reverse this
policy continue granting deferred action requests in cases of people here today and the like them. there are people who applied after august 7 were still facing the 33 day deadline to leave america and a deadline that will arrive within days or weeks that's unacceptable. there is no justification for the incompetence of this decision and no excuse for the recklessness displayed by our government in this whole affair. i look forward to's studying this rigorous analysis of the fence in a discussion of how we can move forward together to repair the damage. it's not my honor to recognize our testing was drinking member, mr. roy from texas for his opening statement. >> thank you, distinguished chairman. it's nice to be back here. appreciate the witnesses taking time out of your schedule and lines for being here and i appreciate your testimony today. i think as we gather here today it's important to remember and
reflect that today is september 11 that we as a nation reflect on the tragedy of the terrorist attacks 18 years ago today a number of us on a bipartisan basis gather the capital steps with a moment of silence and hearts and prayers and those affected by it but importantly we remember those who in the law-enforcement affinity first responders ran toward the building and want to thank all our law-enforcement communities including you and your life of public service and law-enforcement supporting the united states. i would also note that i want to thank the german for moving the hearing today. there was discussion occurring in august last week would've been difficult to make it so invited this week so we can have better attendance. as we discussed this topic is an important topic in perspective is important. this past summer facing an unprecedented surge in migrants
crossing into our country is a growing humanitarian crisis in our border and at the end of august opinions for the fiscal year around 818,000 and already outpaced the total for meeting which was 521,000. wheezing agencies as border patrol and ice struggling to fulfill the mission and the committee is held three hearings in the month of july number one on it immigration and border security with the august separately made a visit today just intel texas and pleased to be joined by my from the gentleman from ohio as well as my friend from texas to seat was occurring in our open border. important conversations to have as a member of farmers in america and it is a question we should be compassionate and do the right thing and help those in need. question is we are a nation of laws and a nation of 70 and we are willing and what question i think the supports to ask is are we willing to send a clear message of what those laws are
and figure out how to navigate within a system of rules and laws so we can understand how it impacts our nation who pays for health care what the expectations are. my understanding for example if the average number of cases were talking about today is about 1000 a year, give or take. it's important number. these are real people and for each one of those thousands this is extremely important we need to figure out the right processes to make them work. let's keep in mind were talking about a thousand cases right now as we discussed we felt almost 900,000 people who have crossed and been apprehended into our country. that's a nervous number of almost 600,000 and have been caught and released into our nation with a matter of fact we've had a significant onslaught for cbp and ice were trying to figure out what to do and have an overwhelmed system but the cia is overwhelmed. entire systems bulging at the seams because we, this body, refused to do our job.
simply put we are not to adopt in clear signals and to make sure the resources are there adequately to deal with the situation at hand. let's think about the people who deserve our compassion. i think those people, all the people, were talking about here deserve our compassion including those of those 500,000 i just talked about who are abused on a journey because they're going through a tough journey elicit equal organizations in mexico who are often in stash houses and often being held for ransom, women, girls, abused on the journey and we ignore that what we talk about how great open borders are for some reason in the false name of compassion of how good that is. let's talk about the 600,000 caught and released in a perpetual cycle in the united states must talk about human trafficking in this country getting worse because were allowing illegal organizations to extend in our community. let's talk about the compassion of law-enforcement personnel, cbp, ice and other agents who have been overwhelmed and being trashed on a daily basis by
members of the united states congress. trashed with deceitful and outright lies disparaging law-enforcement officers doing their job. today we discussed medical deferred action i think we should ask serious questions. does the process we have work? does anyone left outside looking in the does not know what the rules of the road argument is establish the rules of the road and follow them. but send clear signals as to what those are and let them operate in a humane and compassionate way. what agency is best situated to handle dentist questions for those seeking healthcare? let's answer those questions honestly and not hide behind rhetoric and left to send a clear message what are the rules and follow. i'm encouraged today the agencies are here to correct any information or misinformation about the current status depending deferred action. my understanding is u.s. cif 791 referred request pending between
august 7 and september 5 denial letters one to 124 requests. all of those 420 claims have been reopened and will be reevaluated. certainly let you know the question as to what happened and how that occurred in the now the reversal of that. i think should look into that. u.s. cif did not issue an issue to appear in dh for those 420 requests. in saga seven u.s. cif has rejected 40 deferred action request since september 5 there been no additional requests. we can look in and make sure that's true. historically u.s. cif has been the only agency to grant deferred action not in removal proceedings. deferred action can be revoked at any time. determining deferred action specific rights to your application with field officers use their discretion in the totality of the circumstances to make a decision but i want to know when asked of individuals who may have received deferred action came to the country
initially u.s. cif did not note that attract the data since there's no formal occasion for the process and i'd like to know how to track that and understand it and know about it. i think will insist on those things so in wrapping up i want to reiterate in our july hearing. we want real reform, real change we need to be discussing the root of the problem. the problem in my opinion is that we refuse as a congress to stand behind the rule of law and make clear our immigration import laws are enforced. we need clear rules of the road and needing to follow the better for nation and better for our 70 and that's better for migrants who seek to come here better for those who are sick looking for care is better for a just and humane way of dealing with things. i think we should stop sending mixed signals stop sending signals is okay to come here illegally to stay over basis to empower criminal organizations and cartels and basically have a system where we have indentured servitude in our country because were allowing the broken system to continue.
we just had 50000 apprehensions in the southwest border in august. using news accounts and how that's dropping down and how we should celebrate that but still enormously high. it's still in almost the height number and you're still overwhelmed at the border even as the decline is in the heat of the summer. at the peak of the crisis there are 132 apprehensions at the border and this proceeding continues today need to remember the underlying factors driving the crisis. need to secure the border into our job in pointing the fingers in agencies and spewing of rhetoric here does not solve the problem but rather real reform will start here in congress but i want to thank the agencies for appearing today and i like to thank the witnesses for appearing today look for to hearing from each one of you. >> mr. roy, thank you. i want to associate myself with your comments with 911 and i'm glad indeed we were able to have the ceremony of all the members of the house today as we observe this important remembrance. i now what was our first panel
of witnesses. it's my pleasure and i thank you all for the great pains you have come to join us. the witnesses are maria isabel, jonathan sanchez, [inaudible], clinical professor of law and director of the center for immigrant rights clinic at penn state law school, doctor fiona [inaudible] pediatrician from massa general hospital in a pediatric mass general with child protection and anthony marino at irish international center and mr. thomas homan, former director of the u.s. immigration customs enforcement. for all the witnesses who are able would you please arise and raise your right hand and i will begin by sparing the whole panel in and if you're not, please raise your hand. do you swear, or a firm, the
testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record show the witnesses all answered in the affirmative. please be seated. thank you. speak directly into the microphones you have five minutes and without objection emergency mitts will be made part of the record so we will get a competence of look at what you have to say even as you don't get it all in within the five minutes. with that, you are now recognized to give an oral presentation. >> i would like to thank the members of the house committee on oversight reform for the opportunity to sit before you and hear my story. i name is maria i'm 24 years old and came to the u.s. from guatemala when i was only seven to participate in a clinical trial to save my life and live like me. i came here illegal resident in this country for over 16 years but on august 13 the u.s. cif
sent a letter to me and my family through the days to leave the country but we were able to learn our case to be reopened. there has been an overwhelming time for my family and me because medical treatment i need is not available in guatemala. was born with mds a witch affects 2000 people in the world but it's a rare life-threatening disorder. life expectancy was very short and the doctors that i might not live into my teens. at the time of my diagnosis there was no approved therapy to treat my disease. in 2001 mike doctor sent me to a hospital in oakland for a clinical trial. [inaudible] i was -- we came in
a visa and it was not [inaudible] i understood it was an honor and a privilege and as i matured it was a reward to know what i was doing was going to help a lot of people. a continued participating in clinical trials until the state to help the next generation with my disease. i first participated it was successful and led to fda approval. [inaudible] i can live longer and have a higher quality of life. doctors told me if i stop the treatment i dining disease wil will -- we relocated to california but i received this life-saving treatment. [inaudible] i have a trick them
out of me making my healthcare more, get it. making the decision to relocate was hard. they left the careers and family and friends and my father is a computer engineer and he came in on it h1 visa to provide for us. we been denied a change in status. we've reapplied every two years but due to the change in policy this year our request was denied and i want to leave. i am a human being with hopes and dreams in my life. despite my physical challenges i have worked hard to achieve my goal i graduated so make him latte from [inaudible] and director [inaudible] i now work
as an advocate for people with diseases. the summer i was a california assembly member in oakland. with incredible support of my family i stayed positive through many struggles. i'm very grateful for the opportunity this country has given me to receive medical treatment and ungrateful for the humane immigration policies that made my life here possible and i would like to make a difference for others. and asking congress and the administration to come together and right the wrongs of this training policy and it's not a partisan issue. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. mr. sanchez mac. >> my name is jonathan sanchez and i'm a 16 year old boy that
has cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects primarily the young and affects the digestive system in my pancreas. i want to tell you about my life back in my native country of honduras and how my life has changed since i came to the usa on 2016. i was born in 2003 and lived there for the first 12 years of my life. when i was three months old parents found that i had -- and it was a scary day for them. three years before i was born they had a daughter named samantha. she was born with a problem in her intestines. unfortunately, the doctors in honduras do not know how to treat her or help her. six months and two days after she was on my sister passed
away. this was a pretty heartbroken moment or my parents. one month after they noted that she had fibrosis. right now they are worried that if i go back to my country it will happen to me. on the year 2016 we came to the usa legally with our tourist visas to search for a better cystic fibrosis treatment for me. when i go to boston children's hospital for the first time in massachusetts they pay me pulmonary function test and the results told me i had only 40-42% of my pulmonary function. the doctors of boston children's
hospital told my parents came to the usa just in time. after the first visit they sent me home with medication that i should and that i wasn't able to get in my country. the first time i start to get on treatment i got really tired because i wasn't used to it. the doctors after they made me another pulmonary function test and this time it gave the answer of 60-69% of my pulmonary function. by now my function is 90-97. right now i'm using a medication called [inaudible] that helps cystic fibrosis mutation lift for a bit of time for this medication is only in two countries, england and the united states of america. we have daily home treatments that takes half an hour or two
hours if it's longer and this treatment is basically a nebulizer and i take from the medicine for my pancreas, stomach, lungs and other organs with cystic fibrosis. however, since we got the letter and the medical deferred action that we need to leave the country in 33 days or we would be deported. my parents and i feel stressed, scared and mad and it's incredibly unfortunate to take kids who are at home getting treatment to save their life. they told us that the medical deferred action program was
canceled and i started crying and told my mom i don't want to die. i don't want to die but if i go back to honduras i will die. after this i feel so tired both emotionally and mentally. i cannot even sleep properly. i feel disappointed with the usa government that they canceled this program. sorry for that. from my point of view thinking that deporting sick kids like me will be illegal homicide because in my country doesn't exist treatment. thank you for your time. >> thank you, mr. sanchez. doctor. >> ranking member jordan,
chairman baskin, ranking member roy and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to appear before you today i'm a law professor at penn state to lock in university park and testifying in my individual capacity. my scholarship teaching and practice focused on immigration law, a field i have worked in for 20 years. i have published two books with nyu press in my first book beyond deportation finds nearly a decade of research on the history of prosecutorial discretion and deferred action in immigration cases. my second book, ban, examines immigration enforcement and discretion during the first 18 months of the trump administration. deferred action enjoys a long history at both democratic and will begin administration. first called nonpriority status deferred action operates informally from most of the
20th century and in the early 1970s as part of his effort to support his clients john lennon and yoko ono attorney leon reviewed over 1800 deferred action cases. many involving medical infirmity and humanitarian factors. in 1975 ins issued guidance on deferred action through operations instruction and in 1996 the operation instruction removed into a new publication known as standard operating procedures or sop. 2012 sop from u.s. dif describes how an individual, legal representative or u.s. dif can request deferred action. deferred action does not provide a formal, legal status but the legal foundation to use it is crystal clear. the immigration statute, federal
court decisions and legal opinions by ins have recognized the legality of deferred action. regulations published during the reagan administration explicitly identify deferred action as one basis for work authorization. u.s. dif has used deferred action medical and humanitarian spaces for decades but the idea is long-standing and impact customary. in one data set i received in 2011 nearly half of the cases i could identify involved serious medical conditions and many of the cases involved more than one factor. for example, deferred action was granted to a 47 -year-old schizophrenic who overstayed his visa, was the son of a lawful permanent resident and had siblings who were u.s. citizens. over 100 of these cases involved people whose homes were destroyed by an earthquake in
haiti. in another dataset a 578 cases obtained from u.s. dif in 201 2013336 were based on medical issues. one case involved a mexican female who entered the united states without infection and had to u.s. citizen children. one of her children had down syndrome and the other child had serious medical conditions. i received a third dataset from u.s. dif in 2016. again revealing the many different action requests were based on serious medical conditions. the dataset included a child with burns on over 65% of their body and parents of children with cerebral palsy. u.s. dif has a long history and the expertise of handling cases for vulnerable populations and to continue to process humanitarian deferred action cases.
preserving an affirmative deferred action process at u.s. dif allows a person to request what is often a life-saving protection without having to undergo removable proceedings and also save the government resources. further nearly every legal opinion from inf of prosecutorial discretion instructs officers to exercise prosecutorial discretion at the earliest stage of the enforcement process. ripping jurisdiction over this action forces them to exhaust the enforcement process. who has served by placing a cancer patient who might ordinarily request deferred action at u.s. dif into the removal process? no one. finally, u.s. dif should improve transparency by publishing about
deferred action providing greater notice and information. >> thank you, doctor. your time is up. >> ranking member jordan, chairman baskin, ranking member roy and establish members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. i'm a pediatrician at the massachusetts pediatrician hospital. i have come here today to express a profound concern that i and my colleagues share over u.s. dif intentional termination of a medical deferred action program. our hospital cares for children who benefited from the program including a young child for the rare genetic condition that causes seizures in the mental challenges. in a country of origin this child connection is stigmatizing and deemed unworthy of care. the family was told the child would suffer from seizures and
die within a year. refusing to accept the nothing can be done family left behind seek a second opinion at the national hospital specialty clinic devoted to genetic diseases. thanks to the families determination and the cure of a dedicated clinical team this child to live a longer and much more mature life, attending school and achieving the mobility and social skills. none of this would've been possible without the medical deferred action program. now the child status is due for renewal at the time of the program they arbitrarily may and jeopardizing much progress. pediatricians care for medically complex children we often do so with baited breath. these children are, by definition, vulnerable. but do they suffer from cancer, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or any number of other diseases they require care from a multidisciplinary team of
specialists. depending upon their underlying condition and error as simple as a missed dose medication or a dislodged tracheotomy breathing tube or a poorly covers needs spell catastrophe. many of these children for help is so tenuous as they travel unsafe and the clinicians would hesitate to transfer for them to another hospital in the united states, nevermind overseas. should these children be forced to return to their home countries there kate may be impeded not only by stigma and misunderstanding but by lack of basic resources. access to safe for the water is not a given in many parts of the world and chronically ill children repeat routinely die from malnutrition or infection as a result. unreliable electrical grids threaten the health of children that depend upon pumps, ventilators or medications that spoil without assistant refrigeration. particularly for to drink and die from heat related competitions with want of access to air-conditioning. air pollution and developing countries and what immuno
companies children are poorly equipped to handle exposure to infectious diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, measles and pneumonia. healthcare systems in many low middle countries are still in their and simply transporting and ill child can be an insurmountable challenge without ambulances or safe roads. supply chains are inconsistent so the child may make it to the hospital for the medications and equipment he or she needs may prove unattainable. as a skilled personnel might be needed to administer them. is not hyperbole to state medically fragile children such as [inaudible] amounts to issuing them a death sentence. adding insult to injury children could find themselves unable to access even the most rudimentary care, to ease the anxiety and physical pain of the passing. perhaps no intervention is more crucial to minimize the suffering of children to
maintain the presence family member at their bedside. terminating the medical deferred action program would lead medically convex u.s. citizen not only without the physical burden of their disease but with the emotional trauma of forced separation from their immigrant parents. the child can expect it to heal under such circumstances. this is not just bad medicine but unconscionably inhumane. the u.s. department of health and human services building here in washington dc is an engraved coat saying hubert h humphrey saying it reads a moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children. those who are in the twilight of life, the aged, and those in the shadows of life, the sick, needy and handicapped. my colleagues in mass general and i quickly urged u.s. dif to embrace the moral imperative of permitting our young patients the opportunity to heal. >> thank you. mr. marino. >> german raskin, ranking member
jordan roy, distinguish members of the committee thank you for inviting me here today and for hearing these stories. i'm here today my capacity as the director of legal services with the irish international immigrant center where we provide legal wellness and education services to immigrants from ireland and 120 countries around the world. in our legal program we represented dozens of families facing the horrific circumstances that always accompany navigation for deferred action. in the majority of deferred action cases i have seen an individual enter temporarily and then fall ill or gravely injured or received a terrifying diagnosis. sometimes the illness or injury makes travel impossible and sometimes life-saving treatment is just not available in a home country. the vast majority of cases we handle it's a child whose life
is at stake. we represent children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, a child blinded by the cancer in her eyes and a child who suffering multiple seizures every day. we represent children confined to wheelchairs, connected to meeting troops and each of these cases is a family with no desire to break any law but who simply cannot leave without putting a life in danger. these dire circumstances the government has always provided a relief valve, a process by which a family could come forward other than cowering in the shadows over a sick child and lay out their circumstances explaining to u.s. dif y travel has become impossible and even deadly in the government would agree to allow them to continue in their care. i know life lives have been saved by this program and sadly unknown children we represented to die in the program but even in those cases the brief reprieve by the government but those families precious time.
this long-standing legal program is what protects people from government actions that would shock the conscience and betray our fundamental values of a nation. i was shocked that they felt when i received the first and i'll notice in the next two weeks about a dozen more and they all contain the same boilerplate language. u.s. dif field officers no longer consider these appellations at all and leave in 33 days. the decision to terminate the program was done in secret and there was no prior notice and opportunity to advocate for the program and no opportunity to prepare my clients for those denial letters. we mainly reached out to all the families who were applying for in the program already and i've had some of the most difficult conversations of my life over the past few weeks. client asked me with government expect them to do is to disconnect a child from life-saving support and to put them on a flight to me not survive and exactly what i would do.
we found applications for parents whose u.s. citizen children suffer these life-threatening diseases. in these cases the determination of the program friends yet more family separation and there are parents were now having conversations about whether to orphan a child in order to extend his or her life. and the terrible reality of what they done became public u.s. dif initial response to the media was to deny the eliminated the program. they claim they simply transferred it to ice. of course, our clients wanted to know what that meant much danger the families were in in the media outlets were contacting our center trying to get us to explain it i had to tell them the only information i had i was getting from them. but the transfer to ice appear appears -- basins have confirmed that the media that they have the program in place in the plan to implement it. after the latest press alert last week we began receiving notices that some cases would be
reconsidered and we still don't know what that might mean for those families in the press alert reference department of state regulations and it's unclear if this means there applying the same standards they always have or if they made some new standard that we all know. the press alert and these reconsideration notions we received still indicate the program has been terminated moving forward and it leaves no option for families in these dire circumstances now or in the future. because the program was terminated in secret people to know they kept filing we filed evocations as recently as august means for that case. deferred action is a critical literally life-saving program that affects a small number of families but in an absolutely immeasurable way and ultimately usaf has not backtracked so much as double down and delayed the consequences of their decision for a handful of families but that is it. unless congress of the courts
can convince or compel u.s. dif to reinstate the program everyone in it and everyone that would otherwise benefit from it is in a horribly worse position. >> thank you for your testimony. >> distinguish members of the subcommittee that you for the opportunity to appear before you today. this is the appropriate exercise of prosecutorial discretion. my name is tom holman, i retired in 2018 and served more than 34 years and forced immigration law. as you know and passionate about this issue and i'm glad to testify on different aspects today but before i delve into the details pertaining to the subject of today's hearing would like to pause and reflect on this being the 18th anniversary of the terror attacks on our homeland. may god have mercy on those
innocent victims who lost their life and maybe continue to perfect this country against those who want to destroy us in the freedom we enjoy at this country. i also want to salute and honor the fallen soldiers that took the fight to those who attacked us and made the ultimate sacrifice. i will never forget. regarding today's hearing would like to clear up what is that, a common misunderstanding. it's not lawful to have a deferred action program at any federal agency. the word program conjures that entire class if they meet criteria are entitled to a benefit in this case, deferred action but that is not the case. when you break it down for most basic underpinnings of the loss deferred action is the exercise of prosecutorial discretion from prosecutor discussion whether it's deferred action or administer closure it may only be exercised on a case-by-case basis and not to her class to send criteria but by law-enforcement agencies. again prosecutorial discretion is rightfully exercised on a case-by-case basis and [inaudible] they have the statutory authority over those
laws. i'm here to answer those questions about that program today so it's important hearing and will talk about that today. i want to change the course here for one minutes. i understand this hearing is important and that's why accept the offer to come and discuss it with members and their people. any policy that affects the lives is important and one that they could've been prevented is too many but like cause for concern is these types of hearings but i have noticed that the house is quick to schedule hearings whenever there's a policy change for operational change and something and usually they are wrong that this change may negatively impact someone the knowingly violated our laws and may be here illegally. i don't see the same sense of urgency when an existing policy affects our citizens and put this country's security in danger or result in an unsecure border which results in not just a few minutes during crisis but a national security crisis. why we continue to have
inaccurate titles and misleading titles that push a false narrative on the actions of this administration and vilified the brave men and women that serve in this immigration you are choosing to ignore many lives, many more than this policy change. if you want to affect meaningful change that would save countless lives you need to refocus. add to this hearing today. for instance, were here to discuss the crisis on the border and the three loopholes causing much of this crisis. where are the hearings on the asylum are being abused connect or the td pra is causing you to be put in handle criminal organizations and we put in great danger. where are the healings for the for a settlement that resulted in unprecedented family members [inaudible] 32% of women being sexually abused children dying. criminal cartels making millions of dollars of year because of congressional inaction but i see no hearings on this. the same cartels have [inaudible] where are those hearings connect this immigration crisis -- where is
that hearing? if you want to conjure up a false narrative or sending giant to the number one address policy provides x-ray to criminals. and they put our communities at risk. many children's and others have been raped and murdered by illegal criminal aliens but i don't see hearing on that connect thousands of angry mobs and dad have been born out of century policies but i don't see the urgency that we have that we attack the administration on. our nation's heroes and ice and border patrol are under attack in the families are being attacked in churches and at schools. even companies that work with us are under attack. their lives are being present. where's the hearings on that? i hear nothing but dead silent on this issue. what i do here are members of congress going in on the hate. i ask that you step back and take a breath. attack this administration lasts an address underlining crimes that cause these problems do your job and fix those loopholes. make legislative action after
the hearings rather than staging more political theater. no member of congress should -- there's no downside to that in no downside with immigration and no downside unless the illegal drugs were taking money out of cartels hands. today's hearing is important. it's important hearing. we need to discuss and i'm glad to be here but talk about these other issues -- >> thank you for your testimony. we will now begin the period of questioning from members and i will reckon myself for five minutes for questions. on september 2 after the subcommittee demanded u.s. dif to secure this hearing the administration announced a partial reversal of the new policy, in particular they stated it would quote we open requests for deferred action that would quote, pending on august 7, 2019.
you and your family are told by u.s. cif dated on august 13, 2019 that you need to leave the country by september 14 which is this coming saturday and i'd like to put the letter up on the screen if we could and in the meantime let me ask you a question. if you were recruited in several clinical trial, is that right? >> that's correct. >> you are here both for your own treatments but also to participate in these trials that could help everyone. >> help many other people. >> very good. if we look up on the screen uscis says if you fail to depart the united states within 30 days uscis may is you a notification and commence removal proceedings of you with the immigration for it.
was your request submitted before august 7, 2019? >> we got our package in may. >> i'm sorry. >> in may. >> okay. have you received anything from uscis about your case since this letter came on august 13? >> no, we received that letter on august 13 and then we got another letter from uscis that they would reopen it but it is still uncertain, the situation you got a letter saying it's been reopened. >> but it's uncertain, not clear. >> we don't know what that means back yeah, we don't know what that means and my lawyer is here to answer those questions to. >> uscis, as i understand it, is not known what this includes
whether any request the minute prior to august 7 would be approved eventually. mr. marino, in light of this reversal what concerns do you have for people who requested deferred action before august 7? >> i would not call it a reversal because the press alert that uscis issued still in case they terminated the program. the gist that they will finish those pending on august 7. i have clients with the children now who need access to this program. >> okay. mr. holman, advised using against the idea of a program saying selective case-by-case granting of the deferral so what is a response? >> i don't see the distinction. there are a lot of programs that have individual discretionary. >> okay. >> there's a standard operating procedure for it. >> do feel confident that requests will get a full and
fair review? >> i certainly hope so. i remain confident for my clients and that they will get consideration that they've done in the past. the language in the press alert were not sure what that means. >> is even more uncertainty about the future of critically ill kids whose family cemented requests after august 7. what will happen to immigrants and families who fell on the wrong side of this august 7 line? >> i have no idea. we filed one case after that and we received nothing. we not received anything about new procedures being in place and we just don't know. >> these are people who are in relatively similar circumstances and critical medical situations. >> i have about 90 families that we represent and they are all
critical and medical conditions. >> how would you describe their mental conditions given the people uncertainty? >> it's been chaos and people are terrified. even more conversations in my office with crying clients than ever in history. that's a big thing to say in illegal immigration offices. this is their children's life. >> doctor, let me go to you. what is the attitude of doctors, nurses and medical medical personnel? >> frankly, we are rather appalled. these patients are incredibly sick and need care and we'd like to provide it for them. >> okay. my time has expired and i'm happy to recognize [inaudible] for his five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are a compassionate country and that goes for both sides of the aisle and the vast majority of people in this country and it's an honor and privilege to be able to help those in need
and welcome and thank everyone for the panel for being here today. there are issues that are for us today that are broader than what is on the surface. we have organizations, for example, like uscis and ice who are now being forced to make decisions they should not be forced to make because this congress refuses to pass and to deal with serious immigration reform and implement it. this committee continues the same type of political posturing and tax to this administration regarding the border crisis while at the same time doing absolutely nothing to address the problem, to offer authentic solutions. if the democrats genuinely cared about the plight of migrants of unaccompanied children, six immigrants and so forth then let's come to the table and try
to get solutions. instead of continued political posturing. let me review a few recent things in months that an unproductive activity in june a member from this committee from the other side of the aisle remarked that the united states is running concentration camps on our southern border. vilifying the men and women of ice from our border patrol agents who are putting the life on the line every day to defend us and protect this country. then a group of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle issued a press release criticizing the emergency border supplemental bill that provided increased funding that would have helped. then a dozen of my democrat members visited texas, the facility there later alleging the unsanitary conditions they are and that individuals were being forced to drink out of
toilet. look, we can address problems if we are willing to get to the root of the issues and address them. we had the authority here to do so. there are things staring at us the faith that we are ignoring. reviewing the floors element agreement and increased funding for border security. i've been at the border and i've been at six out of the nine sectors. i'm not seeing any of the things that have come from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i think great, hard-working members of our cbp and others giving all they have got to do their job well done. look, we've got to address solutions and the solution is not open border policy but the solutions are not to decriminalize border crossings. mr. homan, let me ask you and think you again for joining us
but why would having an open border policy pose a security risk human. >> for example right now for patrol as about 50% of their staff off-line. if you are someone in this world wants to do harm to his country you will not buy a plane ticket because there's too much back and check and a visa has a security program. you will enter the way this country 12 million others entered especially now when half the border is unsecure. >> in essence, is decriminalizing border crossings that, in and of itself, and open border policy? >> is another enticement. like things were cities that give them free college educati education, medical care and giving them citizenship is an enticement for these people put themselves in harm's way to come here to the country and put themselves in the hands of criminal organizations. >> what does it do to the morale who are on the border and those who are agents trying to do their job when members of the
press or members of congress push false narratives as to what is going on? what does that do to the morale back. >> it hurts the morale but not only those who carried the men and women. the bad but the spouses say goodbye to their house every day and leave the safety and screening of his home to defend this nation. their kids are being attacked. when i was i director my kid was attacked and had death threats against him. it's out of control. the men and women of ice border patrol deserve our thanks that the ridicule by the media and this open border policy doesn't solve anything. it will create more people and come to this country illegally more women will be raped and more children will die -- >> your time is expired. what you think the witness and call on reps tentative margin for her five minutes for questioning.
>> senator, you are of no. >> thank you. this is a very important hearing because we really would have no notion of what is at stake here. the newspapers and news reports didn't give us the fine details or the fabric that you have given us and you and your family were granted it's amazing that anyone wants to take this and i do not you know we even have this deferred -- [inaudible] we had something this important that we did not even know about the website we do not know about and it was taken away. it was mind-boggling to me. ...
the -- i'm really grateful that there's a problem with my heart, my lungs, spine, eyes, teeth, it is a cool risk but i'm grateful for the treatment because it helped me live longer and not become so severe that it is very rare. not many people know about it. >> it's important for us to understand this condition. i do want to indicate there is a critical quote here. obviously those on deferred action are getting treatment they wouldn't otherwise get and look what we are getting because of the diversity of our country we are getting what h we couldnt get otherwise. and that is of course the experience that can help many more, perhaps, from the united
states. i want to note the importance of having family. we ask such people to continue this trial what is said to have somebody besides you suppose they say let the patient, let that person remain. what would it mean if there was nobody in whereby your self. >> i'd really grateful for my family to come here for my treatment, and also a continuing to do so many clinical trials because the medicine i'm getting they are going to have less problems. it is a very rare condition for
the citizens terry mahon and get help for themselves and others. does deferred action health citizens and legal residents, if so or not, will you let us know? >> half o >> half of the children that we represent with these illnesses are u.s. citizens and the deferred action request filed by their parents so they are able to stay here and able to work and care for the child and contribute to the cost of their medical care to pay the rent so they are heavily impacted and the result would be a would have
to choose between leaving the child behind to continue to get the treatment were taking the risk of putting them on a flight. >> thank you. the time is expired. i recognize mr. keller for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to thank the members of the panel for being here today. you will do anything to help your child and again i just want to say that to the families you've been dealing with deferred action. in the 1970s and 80s and guidance and things such as deferred action. i think it would be best if we
could lay that out in a loss that could change. have you ever contacted a member of congress with solutions or ideas that we could put in legislation that would help define this since there hasn't been clarity according to some of the -- >> i haven't had a specific conversation about codifying deferred action into legislati legislation. what i cabut i can say is that r transparency and identification of the factors that would be considered being available to the public is something i greatly value. i'i would also say that we could have legislation. we need reform as the representative said earlier, even with the comprehensive reform we will always need discretion. so, to the extent that the role
of discretion and deferred action in a particular place, the action is in protecting people in humanitarian cases they are hail mary cases if you will. >> in order to make sure that everybody understands the clarity. mr. marino, you talked about people being in your office and looking for clarity. did you reach out to any of the federal agencies and ask them for clarity and did they respond to you? >> it doesn't really communicate with us anymore.
on issues like this, the communication have been -- >> did you call and ask them for guidance? any of the agencies? >> through the association that i am a member of, they have liaisons contacted to try to figure out what was going on and my understanding is the response we got was just it's been eliminated. >> again, i would suggest and i will make the offer because i think that you are a constituent of mine if you've lived in state college to work with you on solution. but here again we are talking about people that have situations that we are also talking about a bigger issue making sure that it's clear on all points of our immigration, so i guess i would say that.
if you could talk about why it might be best to let uscis determine whether or not to grant deferred action, should it be appropriate for that or should it be i.c.e. determining this? >> i don't think cix should have the authority because it lies with the statute authority over the decisions. i.c.e. makes the rest and removes, so if anybody asks for that action there shouldn' shoua non- law-enforcement agency lee as the united states have a lot of things we need to make sure people understand, and by the
ambiguity of the immigration laws we create a lot of confusion. and i guess i would say to the chairmen and other people, if we didn't have clarity from these agencies and people confused, and i hope that we did, as the committee, the chair of the committee would have asked for that guidance so that we could put it out for the people and i don't know if you have asked the committee for guidance to see either. the new member of the committee with an excellent line of questions i would be delighted to work with you further on exploring whether there is a role for the criteria and standards seem to be just kind of floating around in the various departments. i will at this point called for five minutes on the representative debbie wasserman schultz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before i ask my questions, because this has not yet been done -- i think it's important
to really make sure that the testimony is called out as nearly completely untrue as being an outrage and as a former official directing the customs enforcement agencies you've should know better. this is my five minutes. >> she's made her point and i will try to resolve issues at the end of questioning. >> i just think it's important that it's not accepted as accurate testimony. that having been said, i want to start by thanking you for your courage and sharing your stories today. both of you have stated this policy change constitutes a death sentence. please note that my democratic colleagues and perhaps some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will do all we can
to reader is a disgusting decision by the trump administration. i am a parent, a mother and i have a cousin with cystic fibrosis. many of us are parents and there are few english is -- english is like life-saving care. your parents did what any parent would do. they found a way to make sure you were safe and to keep you alive. alive. our country should be proud to have doctors and treatment is to give those like you, every parent should see themselves in what fluffy and tenacity brought you here for the goodness of our country can offer. instead you are here today to testify about why you deserve to live and for that our country should be ashamed, and i'm so sorry. i understand you came to the u.s. -- i read your testimony, 7-years-old for the clinical
trial. can you tell me a little bit about your treatment and what you think would happen if you were not able to get the treatment of >> i've been taking this treatment every friday once a week through an iv. it's helped me live longer. it's a treatmenthe treatment weg for 16 years but if i stop getting the treatment of my body needs because it's missing it, then i'm going to die. >> your doctor wrote a letter to the citizenship about your deferred action and i would like for that to be put on the screen. he wrote it is imperative that she continues to receive the treatment for life-threatening disease and continued if she were to return to guatemala, she would no longer have access to
the medication and she would die. this must be difficult for you to think about having to survive living this lifestyle. what scares me the most about the idea of returning to guatemala? >> first of all, the treatment. i needed the treatment. and also, my medical care that i need. it's really terrifying to think about it. i've been praying a lot, so it's very overwhelming and devastating and just thinking about how you could've died when you still have so many dreams and hope for your life devastating. >> i can't imagine, but i can imagine as a parent to fear i
would have for my own children if that were the case. >> mr. sanchez, can you tell me about -- i'm somewhat familiar with the procedures that cystic fibrosis kids have to go through -- can you tell us about the treatment you currently receive and would you be able to get the current treatments in honduras? >> i won't be able to get them in honduras because there are no machines, no supplementary use for the treatment. there isn't anything in honduras for this. the doctors don't even know what it is. my time is expiring. if you could elaborate on the risk of medically fragile children face if returned to their home countries. >> i mean, it's different for every child. but their care is so complex that it's hard to imagine any of the children in the program could receive this full treatment that they need to should they leave the country.
that's why they were granted the status of the first place. >> the time is expired and i recognize mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the letters that were sent to 424 families -- none of them have been officially told they would not be able to stay in the united states; is that accurate? those individuals and families are being part of the reevaluation, reopening of the case, but there's been no definitive decision made on those families; is that accurate? >> you mean the new letters in september 2? this correct, the. so we are waiting for a decision. that's right. >> we assume those individuals they are here now in some sort of a, some witnesses already in a clinical trial or treatment program, they will be allowed to
stay? >> i sure hope so. >> so do i.. i think we all do. that is the most logical and likely outcome and probably what will happen. i think you said you had 19 families that you were working with right now? >> the 19 families i have, there are some that about half the families that have a pending application, and other the other half are split between people preparing to file initially come and people who are into the production program. >> some with anna some without. okay. so you've been doing this for a number of years? >> yes. >> how many years? >> five years and an immigration lawyer for nine years. i don't for the first time i filed. >> have you ever had one denied? >> i have not, but i know that they have been. i think the reason that i've not
is me in legal services have a well-earned reputation of cherry picking cases -- we file them in very serious -- >> that some are not. >> absolutely. >> some people got denied in the obama administration and probably the bush administration. >> i've never had a categorical denial because we are no longer considering the cases anymore serious >> we haven't had that either. we just got a reopening of the re-examination is based on the information we anticipate they will be able to stay. all i'm asking is in the past, people in similar situations have been denied? >> on a case-by-case basis, not categorically. >> right. i understand. >> i just want to make that clear. there've been people similarly situated that have been the night. >> i wouldn't say similarly situated. the clients i have now, the situation they are in with the need for life-saving critical treatments wouldn't have been denied in the past.
>> and i don't think that they will be denied rights now. i certainly hope they are not denied. based on the communication we have seen how that seems to be where this is headed. >> that is for the cases pending august 7. it's been eliminated going forward. >> they will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. >> just those on august 7. >> is there a crisis on the border? >> of course. >> has there been a crisis there for a long time? >> if i could respond to the earlier remark from debbie wasserman schultz, there's more about this issue than you will ever know. to say my testimony is inaccurate is wrong.
everything i've said here is accurate, bottom line. i'm here on my own time. there is a crisis on the border and it isn't going to go away. if we want to give away college education and driver's licenses and free medical care and freeboard behavior, you will never solve the immigration crisis on the border. it's not going to happen. >> and when certain members of congress criticized the agents trying to do their job it probably doesn't help when you have pictures on websites talking about cages when it was from the obama administration and it probably doesn't help when you say the crisis is fake, manufactured and hold off spending the 4.6 billion that we need to deal with the crisis that got much worse. it probably doesn't help with those factors either, doesn't? >> no sir.
>> u.s. cities declaring themselves sanctuaries. that probably doesn't help the situation either. >> it doesn't help with the deferred action, going away for this policy change. i myself have approved many requests. i.c.e. doesn't put their heart on a shelf and all of a sudden care about humanity. it's ridiculous. it's ridiculous false narrative and i will be here until the day i die for the men and women that put their lives on the line. >> thank you for your service. representative, you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. i would like to thank my colleague for your work on organizing this hearing on a critically important issue at this time. it is bueso and mr. sanchez, i would like to thank you and all of the witnesses for coming to testify before the committee. it is an enormous, it's
enormously taxing physically, emotionally, mentally to come here and testify before this committee and to prepare for your testimony and testify for the length at which you are doing. so i would like to thank you and recognize that you are doing it to make sure that thousands of children and other people in the united states are protected. i'd also like to apologize to you both for the behavior of some of the members of this committee where they are speaking in profoundly dehumanizing terms to you and you don't deserve that. i would like to apologize to you on behalf of the united states of america for its dehumanizing policies that they are pursuing to better frankly targeting you and many people in the united states, and we are fighting for a better country that we can be proud of when it comes to how we treat all people and understanding the circumstances
that they are coming from. and i'd also like to recognize what you have and recognize to everybody that you encounter in the country. speaking of which, ms. bueso, do you remember a long time ago, and you may not, but in 2003, participating in a cynical trial in oakland, california? >> i was really young, but i do remember coming here with my mom and participating and a chemical trial. >> you for 7-years-old? >> seven or eight. >> do you remember, and again i know you were very young, but do you remember a girl named maria? >> she's from new york. >> she is a constituent of mine, and she wants to write and
submit to the congressional record a letter of support for you to stay in the united states. mr. chairman, i would like to seek unanimous consent to offer this letter to the congressional record. >> without objection the letter will be entered. >> you have a profound impact on her, and i think it's testimony to your character and just who you are as a person. that being said, professor, deferred action insures children can stay in the united states to receive treatment for life-threatening medical conditions without fear of being deported; corrects? deferred action is subject to very strict internal controls. you have reviewed hundreds of these actions of these cases, and the reason for granting deeper actions are generally limited to very serious life and death issues, isn't that correct?
>> correct. >> so, people like mr. sanchez and ms. bueso are not collateral damage to this administration's policy. they are the target. >> is targeting and changing policy to specifically target people with life-threatening diseases for deportation is in chile killing them? through deportation, would you characterize that as cruel? >> i would. >> this is a grewal speaks the cruel policy change. specifically almost animated by cruelty. we hear over and over again and we heard it today from folks across the committee that they are under resourced, but we have to continue dumping billions of dollardollars into an enforcemed putting children in cages, into
a system that is quite literally killing people but meanwhile, we are adding to the resources by forcing people to go through the ordeal, forcing this country to go through the ordeal of needlessly deporting people like ms. bueso and mr. sanchez. of course you are under resourced because your goal was to deport people that have no reason on humanitarian grounds or otherwise to be deported. would you agree with that, is that an assessment that strikes you? >> it does and it goes to my testimony about how we spent resources. this page and policy throws a wrench into the room of law because of the fact that the discretiodiscretion is such a ny component and part of the rule
of law. we have to make choices about who we are going to target for the removal and -- >> the time is expired now. i want to recognize mr. meadows for five minutes. i wasn't going to ask questions, but i'm trying to get my hands around this. you made a statement was program is going away, you set a program is going away in this deferred action in terms of the case by case situation from what i understand it's not going the way it's just the proposal is to move it to i.c.e., so what program is going away? >> what program is going away? i guess what i'm saying is i'm not aware of any program that has been recommended that goes
away. these cases have been opened back up, but my understanding was we are going to move it over soviet adjudication is handled. as that's not perfect? >> my understanding is part of the problem here is that there have been no public notices of any of this. >> but your statement a few minutes ago was that the program was going away. so what program is that, the deferred action. and you are basing that action as going away based on what? that is one notice for one individual. >> i get that for the 400 some odd that are reopening that but here's what i don't want to do is create panic assuming we are going to do away with deferred action when i haven't seen anything from the groups that
would suggest that. >> field offices no longer consider the deferred action request. to move it to a different process. >> that part isn't here. >> but didn't you get a follow-up letter that says they are opening up for the adjudication? then they issued an alert that they were going to open the cases. >> anybody that says they stopped the consideration of the deferred action for the nonmilitary requesters. >> they said that the cases were pending as of august 7 and they were going to clear out the cases. it's still been ended. >> wit >> lengthy -- what i would like to do, madam chair i didn't see you pop in there. i would like to -- let's work together. i think what we've got is a situation where you don't have a
compassionate bone in your body. to assume we've got a panic out there that we are going to do away with everything, i would like to work in a bipartisan way to figure out how we look at the humanitarian needs that we have and do it in a way that is systemically reasonable and get efficient. am i mistaken in my understanding that what we've got here is simply for better or
worse for the hearing to decide how this process should work in other words in this case we are not going to handle these or make these deferred action decisions after august 7. essentially then they will deal with the decisions to expedite the removal decisions or anything else and then i.c.e. can figure out how to answer these questions if it puts policies in place that would allow that to occur. is that your recommendation or font? >> they make these decisions every day. do we arrest or not, detain or not detain, remove or not remove.
it is perfectly an agency that shouldn't have the authority over making the decisions of tht the other agency has statutory authority over. that is the basis of all prosecutorial discretion in matters. if a the chair recognizes the gentle lady from massachusetts. thank you, madam chair. i do want to say that for colleagues across the aisle we've stated outright and an implied that there are dramatic things happening on this side of the aisle. no drama, just hard facts, and
that is repeatedly people have been asked to weaponize their experiences and pain which have been brought about by neglect or by intentional attacks by this administration time and time again. people have come before the committee to talk about the drama of gun violence. the trauma of what is happening in the borders, the trauma of negotiating life-saving medication like insulin and now the trauma and fear children. people coming before this committee demanding that we see the humanity and the dignity appealing for their very lives, that is where we find ourselves. so, just when i think as an occupant of the white house that is in a xenophobic administration cannot reach any
new lows they go even lower deciding to give children and their families 33 days to leave the country or risk being deported. the hard facts. and because of the outrage by millions of americans because it does fly in the face of the values that we espouse as a nation and the public outcry and the partnership of my colleagues and the leadership of the committee, we are having this hearing today to shine a spotlight on this appalling policy for lives are hanging in the balance and to hold the administration accountable. no posturing, just the hard facts. to add insult to injury they try to do this under the radar, no public announcement, no opportunity or effort to hear from those most impacted. appalling.
shameful. these families stories have spurred righteous rage, public outcry, and rightfully so and i want to thank mr. sanchez and ms. bueso for joining us and for your bravery. you are true patriots by every definition in my estimation. and i can only imagine how hard this is battling a chronic life-threatening on us leered by the threat of deportation. i want to also thank your caregivers and caretakers and your families for being here with you and what they do every day. can you please just simply clarify, because there has been a muddying of the waters, truly revisionist history we wouldn't
have ms. bueso at mr. sanchez here doing what they are doing in the face of great physical and emotional burden if this was a fake panic. so can you please clarify the revisionist history of that of my colleagues on the other side of the idling and tell us why do you think it is necessary to continue to grant deferred action and speak to what has transpired here? >> i will give you a little bit of this yesterday as i understand it. there is no new program in i.c.e. and none of my clients are eligible to apply for anything. they can't walk into an office and apply for deferred action. i believe what mr. homan is talking about granting removal in the past it's only to those that have been ordered removed on orders of supervision so
they've been ordered and they are caring through with deporting them basically unrefuted airport yoon yourway k for permission to stay for a year and maybe then we will consider it, so i don't know if the suggestion -- i don't understand it but maybe the suggestion you drag kids from her hospital bed into courtrooms, make them go through a removal proceeding, have the judge ordered him deported, turn them over to i.c.e. and then maybe they will exercise discretion? i don't understand area to >> i'm going over my time. is there something you want to add on the record? >> when it comes to affirmative deferred action requests, this is a policy that has been in the jurisdiction since its inception. these are individuals who are not yet in the removal vcf a candidate has been terminated? >> and it has been terminated. >> the chair recognizes the gentlgentleman from west virgin. >> enqueue madam chair and
ranking member and all of you for being here today. i want to thank you for sharing with us your wife stories and experiences that you've had. it has helped shed light on the plight that many are facing and the need for clarity in our immigration system and i want to reiterate what the gentleman from north carolina and texas are expressing as well. we need clarity, and we need to understand how we can move forward in a positive way. i would like to direct my questions to you today. i know that in these past couple of months, we have had multiple hearings in this committee on the topic of immigration. has this rhetoric helped move the ball forward on solving the nation's larger immigration issues? >> i missed the last part of the question.
>> i said has all of this rhetoric helped move the nation into solving the immigration issues? >> no. >> how would you characterize the trump administration response to the southern border crisis? >> i think he's doing the right thing, the right guy at the right time doing the right thing. because of his actions, not anybody in this building. >> when we have acting secretary here in july, he discussed how over 5,000 migrants presenting themselves as family units in fiscal year 2019 turned out to be fraudulent. how does the current immigration law incentivize illegal entry into the country? >> because there are loopholes that exist because families and children to come to the country coming and that is one thing. of course i'm constantly attacked but if anybody in the room as worn green uniforms, i have seen dead children and
women as doctors without borders and that is the issue isn't about securing a border which nobody on the panel should argue a secure border is a better united states, but it's not just about securing borders it's about saving lives, and i feel what's going on here today -- and there are many cases that deserve deeper actions or don't say that this administration doesn't care about this, because i personally have approved it for medical care but i am saying is there's a flipside to the claim. many more lives are lost every year. there were people that would have died if they wouldn't have been rescued. people are drowning in the rivers. women are being raped. >> repeat that number. >> 4,000 rescues. >> we have hearing after hearing that i haven't been involved in one hearing to talk about fixing the problem that is causing the
search. >> you want to talk about family separation and about this the third action and i get it, it's important that when we talk about fixing the problem at saving lives in securing the nation like everybody here i don't care if you are republican or democrat for number one responsibility is to secure the nation and there is no downside in protecting the border. if you don't like it, legislate. don't ask people to ignore the law or find a loophole. legislate, do your job and fix it but it's going to take a backbone to get it done. >> so once again given the political rhetoric within the last couple of months, there hasn't been a lot of action fixing this from my colleagues on the other side. could you elaborate on the importance of the congressional action on immigration? >> it's going to save lives and take money out of the cartels fans that not only smuggle people into traffic in children have come to the country with
relatives, we have numerous investigations of children being trafficked and i hear a lot of sympathy today but let's not forget about the other population children are trafficked by criminal cartels, 32% were being raped. i don't understand why congress can't step up and take this seriously and fix the issue. this is fixable. people are too busy resisting this president, wanting to see the president of the united states fail because it's more important about politics and power than doing their job. it should be about the love of country, securing the country protecting americans at saving lives of people that are formidable because of the enticements and because we failed to address the loophole
is causing it. >> think you and thank you and d back my time. the chair now recognizes chair and coming for five minutes. it's [inaudible] today's hearing is about the third action. if we had a house and senate if both pass legislation and if we had a president that would sign it, this problem could be fixed,
what has been the hardest part? >> the hardest part of my disease, is that the question? >> i think it's a problem that goes with it, that i need surgeries. recently i had a spinal surgery. when i was younger, just getting needles every week because i was young and i didn't like it but as i got older i got used to the at this point, but i don't like to see it as a horrible thing because if they have a disease, but i've been opening doors for others with clinical trials to
help others. but being in the hospital all this time, appointments over time which isn't normal for my other friends, but it is my li life. people are striving to live, trying to breathe the air. would you agree [inaudible] would you agree that it is a moral issue in other words when you are dead you're dead.
>> yes. it's been an overwhelming situation to know. in my mind just thinking my goodness, my medicine has kept me alive so long because as i mentioned before, doctors didn't think that i would live until 19 years and i'm 24-years-old and graduating from college. [applause] so i'm really blessed. so it is a death sentence for me. >> have you participated in student leadership, student government? >> yes. i was the director as my campus
with student government. yes, i represent the whole campus. >> thank you for being here. [applause] the chair recognizes mr. grossman for questioning. >> first of all, mr. homan, i respect the border. three times i've been there and i expect you to respect fo law enforcement and the police department corrections officers. the compassion of these folks i feel that some other members of the institution like to slam folks to make cheap political points because if they were honest they would have an opening [inaudible]
we haven't decided yet if i.c.e. is going to be the one making these determinations. as a practical manner, could you ever under any circumstances say if they had anybody taking someone like the other end of the panel in the country? >> absolutely. there's cases here that deserve prosecutorial discretion, and i.c.e. does that every day. what i'm trying to get at do you believe they are here to create an unnecessary fear that will never happen anyway in other words, they are scaring people that shouldn't be scared because the organization would never kick somebody out of the country like this? >> i understand their testimony and applauded them for being
here and telling their story. they have a good story to tell, and regardless of cia's great i.c.e. officer, i think that they would make the right decision. >> i will give you a couple of other questions. we right now have an overall crisis of the border and there's a varietthereis a variety of thn be done. the problem is we have way, way too many people in the country here illegally. could you give a general summary of a couple suggestions you have for congress that we could do that would reduce the number of people so that we wouldn't have to make so many decisions? >> there's three things we've been talking about one is a settlement agreement with a family crisis that first started.
we detain them for 40 or 50 days until they saw a judge. we would like to be able to detain them long enough to see a judge. we did it under the obama administration i don't know why we can't now. >> we hold trump to a higher standard of care. >> once they saw the judge, they lost their cases and moved. second thing we do it's causing children to be smuggled by criminal organizations and to treat children the same way he treats those from mexico if you can ascertain and prove they are not a true victim of trafficki trafficking, the nation would get a whole different process. they can be removed and united with families. third is the asylum. the asylum levels. most people have their first interview at the border at about
88% of the picket in front of an immigration court, the last time i was talking to 88% of all who claim here at the borde. the border do not get relief from immigration so it is too high and we need to close it to make it more meaningful where people are released into the united states to not only not appear in court, but not listen to the orders of the judge. 90% lose their case over 100,000 removal orders but less than 2% have left. >> something has been said about the rings of separating families. the would be appalled if a child from the united states went off to honduras and the government would send them back. right now if somebody who is an unaccompanied minor comes to the country do we send them back to their parents or do we keep them here? >> the unaccompanied alien children are given over to
custody. most, less than 2% removed. that's an issue no one is talking about. about. if we talk about the 2500 separations at the same time 14,000 in custody smuggled in by criminal cartels and that is inhumane. the government takes care of them better than a criminal cartels would. >> absolutely. >> you are recognizewere recogne minutes of questioning. >> i want to thank the witnesses. i have a prejudice towards one in particular, and i want to thank my colleague ms. presley in particular. in working with her on this issue from san francisco and boston we are proud of our medical leading institutions which have both been from and it's been terrific working with my colleague from boston an cole hope to go further. on the bigger conversation, i just want to remind folks that
most of us on the sidewalk to have a secure border but a humane border and we want the police agencies to follow constitution legislation. i'm not saying that you're not that i've been proud to have police suffered since i've run for office take a lot of right along with indexing good cultures. i'm not an expert but i've spent a lot of time. i'm not saying that's one way or another. i believe we should be working on this together and i would remind my colleagues that in 2013 senate bill 744 was a bipartisan effort led by senator rubio, senator durbin and senator schumer on the democratic side that was passed out almost unanimously overwhelmingly bipartisan, and it is my understanding that because of members a certain fraction of the republican caucus the speaker never brought it up for a hearing or for a
vote. more recently they worked together and likewise that never received a hearing so if you wonder why there haven't been hearings i think that there are shared responsibilities. i would argue there is much more on the other side and i'm hoping to working with people it is a problem the functioning congress could come up with a bipartisan solution and members have tried that. unfortunately there are people that don't want a solution because it works for them politically. i just want to walk through your experience, and i want to say for the record what i heard from some of my colleagues on the other side, from mr. jordan and mr. meadows, a commitment to us that they would work with us to make sure that you are in this country for a long time, both of you and the people that are here. so, let's just walk through what happened with us.
q. did everything you were asked of. you were asked by a federal agency to come be part of the trial to save lives, americans and others. you came here illegally and went under excruciating treatment which you still go every week. you paid for it with private payer insurance. your family came here. you've been here legally the entire time, you've been approved for times as i understand, wondering obama administration for deferred action and wondering this administration. what did it feel like on august 13 to get this letter that is to my anger i've carried it in my pocket ever since and it isn't even signed by the regional directorate i'd like to talk to and find out why he didn't have the courage to sign it he had to have somebody sign up for him and before you start, my district director that's what abuse cases for years was traumatized because the people
we work withi with and the regil office in san francisco, the first conversation was uscis was policy. we can't talk to you anymore. they said we don't know anything about it. i think they were embarrassed and have mortgages to pay. i'm just encouraged by them wanting to fix this, but on the other hand, somebody has to be held accountable for what happened and continues to happen, and we still don't know what will happen. so tell me with the remainder of my time as much as you want to talk about what it felt like and what it continues to be like for you and your family to live in circumstances like this where you still have to seek treatment. >> the way that i thought about the letter was after my treatment coming down with my mom and i got a call saying that our letter was the night and you
have 30 days. i cried. i was shaking, i was pale, i was just so scared. this is the first time we received a letter because we have been here for 16 years and this is the first time we got denied, so my heart just stopped. i was shaking and scared and ran to my dr.'s office to tell him about it and right now i'm still overwhelmed with different emotions. >> thank you. i'm proud of you. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes [inaudible] >> thank you all for your incredible courage to come before the committee. i can't underestimate the fact there are so many people that cannot be in this room and you are here on their behalf so
thank you from the bottom of my heart even as a mother of two and somebody that knows people in my district depend on these humanitarian programs. i want to thank you again so much and also we have been trying to fight for comprehensive immigration on the other side as a law student which he was working on trying to educate the chamber over and over again about the broken immigration system and why we need to fix it so i'm proud to see you here before the committee, and you still have not backed down in trying to tell the truth about what needs to happen with our immigration system so i thank you for that. some have claimed here in this committee and books i've read that there's no need for cispa provides deferred action because i.c.e. is capable. and the person testifying for the other side here says that and i think it is a lie.
i've only been here eight months, but gaslighting seems to be kind of a thing here and they don't have the power to deter but in the so-called administrative stay there are critical differences between the relief granted under deferred action and the administrative stay is. so i would like to ask you please describe the differences between the grants to the deferred action and the grants under the administrative stay is. >> it's great to reconnect with you as well, representative. these grants are made of tremendously by people who are not yet in removal proceedings and often with compelling humanitarian reasons to be here like two of our witnesses. this is a practical form of relief because it saves the
government resources by not having to force someone to go into removal proceedings in order to request for protection. it also protects the individual from a grueling multiple presence during their time and deferred action. .. >> after the person is in the removal system and often after the removal order has been issued. so the government has spent enormous resources and it may be months or years for a decision is made as to the individual outcome. an administrative state, or a state or the deportation is one dive boat prosecutorial discretion in immigration law.
it is often exercised after someone has the removal order. we have the same practical legal and humanitarian impediments of choosing or using administrative state as an alternative to affirmative deferred action. >> even as a former immigration lawyer, i remember different consequences, done of mr. reno, there are different liabilities here because of what i would call different consequences. it may impact both of or not in the future they can reenter the united states. can you talk a little bit about that. >> if when we are talking about our stays of removal. it seems like they're not actually taken over deferred action. enemy deferred action then we may graduate estate once you've been removed. people are ordered to remove, then there's a tenure bar back
into the united states. if they were in the future to become eligible for status here, and i can think of one example of a client we had was here for life-saving treatment brainchild we put medical deferred action and it is virtually the child did pass away. the family returned home within the person and the father was able to come back as a permanent residence. had they not been medical deferred action that would've never been an option. his other daughter now is in college in the united states. because that was available to them. >> thank you. mr. homan, helen american, i just want you to know that your contribution of acting directed device on this administration will always be remembered as one that was very ruthless and humane treatment of asylum-seekers. as the author of the separation policy in an out preventing people, sick children before this committee, seeking life-saving medical treatment will continue always probably the third time, that i am deeply
troubled by your continued innocent lives. i asked that this administration stop playing politics we put the lives of children before the committee also, the lives of many americans that are directly of impacted by the broken immigration system. >> can respond to that. >> no were moving on. >> when he should at least be older to respond. >> how can i not trance how can i not respond that, is about transparency transparency or not. >> the chair now recognizes for five minutes. feel free to answer. >> obvious and time here on a second. >> observations, thank you for being here. wish you both well and long lives and glad to hear you know
getting the kind of treatment you are getting. i is it too was in a program similar for a different illness and glad to be able to get a trial type treatments and glad you are able to do that. quick question that i want to try your statement and clarification. it is my observation that when dhs rolled this policy change for a lack of better term, to ask us cis when they are all about it is my view that it was now rolled out the way it should've been. should've been rolled out a different way. and will see that looks like the next panel. if one thought that ice was the put best place to deal we put deferred action, it would seem to me that the debate then is both of the question is where should it be, ice or where. if were going to be or accept
that premise than what should've been done was much clear notice given that a different kind of transition. i just assumed for a minute that ice is the best place for it. in a letter it should've gone out or a phone call or reach out and say hey, no issue, ui to keep getting health treatment. were changing processes. this is the way ice is now going to handle it and so forth and so forth. i like to stipulate that's my view. if you are transitioning the way you previously handled something, you need to have something like that. was the second panel about that. having said that, i am interested in to continue to learn where it should exist. we'll hear from us cis in a minute. i want to understand mr. homan on the question we put respect to ice what you think it's the best place, can you speak to the ocean and here i think the fear of, their here and there an intense situation and were
getting shoved into a pipeline for removal. then hoping there might be a question of discretion. and can you kind of walk-through out of my work and ice. >> let's be clear my testimony. as a law enforcement officer, statutory authority over those losses who are to make it decisions case-by-case determination. it is no longer a prosecutor his discretion based on case-by-case getaway. we have talked about state. this what ice currently does. it gives removal. miss marino, what when he said, i'm not disagreeing we put him. his eyes prepared to make other decisions that sea ice is making. that's a question for the ice in the next panel. it's a legal issue that i'm looking at. those policy decisions, no other agency should be able to say that. that's ice discussions. that is ice his decision. are they prepared to do that because they normally don't. not as an example.
i'm not lying on my testimony, i am speaking to my years of doing this. and what it means to me. >> the reason i think this matters right. i hope there is general agreement about the process and communication of what should've occurred there. we can have a debate as i think we had a good conversation and about when we go forward on this. on that question. last the next panel some of these but it is important for us not to send some signal of panic that anything is going to be problematic going forward that will address the issue and try to reconcile whatever caps there are here. i do think it's also important to note here on this question of deferred action the question of when it is the discussion for a prosecutor. this is that the core. we have this litigation in. the court agreed that was
something more than discretion. there is something beyond discussion and i think what we see here is the separation is discretion. i was looking at testimony on the data points there, i was able to include a hundred and 18 actions in a hundred and seven work approved. indicating that each one is case-by-case and there were eight that did not mollify. i know i do what they were. that the decision by case-by-case decision. to that end, let me ask one question and finalize minus five minutes. would you like to address and would you please address any of these. >> these last comments were made were appalling. i have served my country for 34 years. i have saved many lives. have been an agency, let's be frank and what ice does. i/year, to the season opioids off of the streets that could've killed every man woman and child in the united states twice.
they've arrested thousands of sexual predators that are preyed on children for the rescued thousands of children who were predators. they arrested hundreds of women's were victims of trafficking. i am proud of the agency and ice. what we don't want to talk about his nearly 90 percent of everybody ice paris, m of immigration violations either a criminal history or pending criminal charges when they were found. means they were found in county jail. which most likely they were acquired boy. two mismatches, the work that men and women of ice do, i find appalling. the member of congress would throw that out there like that. in my 34 years, i have never seen such a source law enforcement agency like this. that you are doing your job. you. >> according to the roles mr. homan. mr. homan. your time is expired read the chair now recognizes the skill. >> the thing about the 33 day
notice issue and the fact that the housing rights, the landlord is required to give more notice in all states for survey to move out of an apartment let alone somebody who is facing life or death children trying to transfer medical care out of the country. within 33 days. sue who i've heard come from the most over the last week or so says as issues come up, were medical professionals. days after the administration policy reversal was revealed, the american academy of pediatrics and organization of 67000 pediatricians and pediatric specialist wrote a public letter urging the administration to reverse course. aap wrote and i quote, reverse this decision for the countless children can continue to apply for deferred action. for some children this is the matter of life and death. the usc i involved we put experts in the medical field
before the decisions were made about the children. are you aware of any members of aap or other physician organizations that were consulted prior to the minister since reversal of deferred action. no sina what would you advise if you have been consulted about this decision pursuant. >> i would've advise and this is the life-saving program and it's absolutely necessary for the children's well-being. to inform families via letter, that their status in this country is at risk and not only cruel but harmful to these children's health. they're already on tremendous stress. yet on top of that this fear not only for their own healthcare before their safety. it's mind-boggling. i would also say that it's extremely difficult to transfer care anywhere within a month inside or outside the country.
>> trying to transfer care across state lines even is incredibly different difficult. >> since announcing this two weeks ago, the american academy are concerned. critically ill children on the administration of the policy and including two infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. us eis letters telling them to leave the country within 33 days we put a child and infant, in intensive care. mystery and you noted in their written statement that the men vast majority of the cases our children are at their stake. we represent children in wheelchairs connected to feeding tubes, etc. >> i think they've been sucked shocked as we have in his or her
clients have been. it's astounding to think that this would happen at all. and that would've happened we put boiler plate forum letters. we put a 33 day notice. we partner we put multiple hospitals in the boston area. they are familiar we put this program. we work we put social workers and doctors on these cases. they all know about it. they sent people to us when they have an emergency situation. but this person his visa is going to expire. we can't discharge them. they send them to us. they were very aware of this program. they were shocked to see it ended. especially the way you did. >> thank you. you still voted devoted your life on behalf of other people we put diseases. what is your reaction from the people that you know in 33 days
in the kind of care that they are having to worry about the parents are going to have to worry about. do you want to add anything. >> let me allocate for others. everyone is in shock. even my friends. they didn't see this coming. they are scared. i try but i think everyone that knows me, they are shocked. they are terrified for me. >> thank you all and i would just reiterate that as this is coming from the medical provider community, we need to be looking at this. not only as a humanitarian issue but a meritor of life and death. we cannot ever signify it to something that is about immigration policy in a forum
letter. it's not that simple. thank you neil back. >> thank you for your questionings and will go to mr. gomez for five minutes. >> think mr. chair, first, one of the things i want to emphasize this administration tends to make decisions in a very rash lay. that went out a lot of thought. we've seen this time and time again. especially when it comes immigration system. especially border patrol, ice, everything, we put no real thought about the consequences. then they have one rationale when it starts and then another rationale when they got called out. loosing this we put when it shame to the zero-tolerance child separation policy. we hope that this deters families from coming to the united states because children will be taken away from them.
the outrage happened across the country and it reversed policy then all of a sudden they are staying we never had a separation because a. right. this is just a pattern that they have when it comes to this. they say one thing and they do another. i know this it's not the panel but this is why they lack credibility. not the women of the border patrol or ice, i'm staying that administration when it comes to making decisions, on this of pertinent issues. they lack credibility. because they say one thing and they do another. ms. marino, when did the let what did the letter say? >> the letter said the us eis field offices no longer consider deferred action cases. then it said you know not authorized to say the rate united states. if you don't depart within 33
days, we may initiate removal proceedings. >> anything else? pictures? anything else? >> no. is that thank you for your request for deferred action. >> then on us and they have pushed back and now were going to change it. now it's going to consider it to move it from one agency to another. this is what this administration does. it is what i think is the dumpster fire. many acting directors and secretaries does this administrator have. i took around even if you want about the 25th amendment, i don't think they have a cabinet large enough to vote it. it is ridiculous. and just frustrating because it really just left the most vulnerable foreigners 24 families. this 424 families.
it moves me because you are going after folks that really need to be here to live. this lesson, first i love your story about going to college. congratulations. how did you and your family first find out about the deferred action that it ended ? >> on the letter. after my treatment, my mother had, i went to call my mom see about the letter for members. my mom and my dad and my sister, policy change and you have 33 days. >> how did your mother react ? >> we cried both of us did. they were just shocked. as i mentioned before, we are
here legally for 60 days and this was the first time that this happened to me and my family. we both cried. i was shaking. to the point that my mom thought i was going to go to the er because i just lost it. honestly. >> how does your family feel about the partial reversal policy ? >> it's not clear. we just want something to give us peace, because me and my family we definitely do not want to go through this again. in the next two years. so we want to make sure that something like we are guaranteed 100 percent. it's not been an easy ride for any of us. we are scared for our own lives.
for medical attention. >> you need and your family needs predictability. especially because of the condition you have. i follow also want to remind folks that this is about these individuals. they went after 424 individuals we put medical needs. that went out any concern about how they would react. and their families. they just put out a forum letter, the estate. my staff calls constituents when they write the letters to give them and make sure they got the letter to have a little discussion. we make more than hundred and 424 calls in a just we put our four staffers. they could've called and had a good explanation on a caseworker. but they chose not to do that. i believe this administration really doesn't do a lot of thought on how a lot of these policy changes will be implemented. now i yelled back.
>> thank you for much for your questioning. heald his back. i think the entire first panel for an extraordinary important testimony. america really didn't understand about the existence of the deferred action program. you've given a great education and on thank you and thank all of theirs here. three initiative in bringing this idea forward and bringing their constituents forward and now as these witnesses are switching out, i'm going to call forward the second panel. all of you should be aware you will receive additional written questions during record and we do get them, please give us a prompt response. i'm going to go right to the second panel so we welcome them and we thank all of you, all of you.
>> forty-three letter same entering into the record. letters from the american academy, state chapters, association, national organization for rare disorders, as well as a number of other immigration advocate groups. these letters have hot quizzes by medical. i asked that these letters be entered into the record. as so ordered. [inaudible conversation] [silence]