U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Thursday that it will at least consider halting deportation proceedings against migrants who are receiving critical medical treatment in the United States.
Last month, the Trump administration drew widespread condemnation when it said officials would not consider a migrants’ medical condition when making deportation decisions.
But after receiving harsh criticism from Democrats and immigration rights activists, the administration changed course, saying it would reopen about 400 cases and determine, on a case by case basis, whether critically ill migrants will be allowed to stay in the U.S.
"At the direction of Acting Secretary McAleenan, USCIS is resuming its consideration of non-military deferred action requests on a discretionary, case-by-case basis, except as otherwise required by an applicable statute, regulation, or court order," an agency spokesperson told USA TODAY.
The Trump administration had no longer been considering these requests, including those by critically ill immigrants receiving treatment in the U.S., sparking condemnation from Democrats and immigration activists.
Last week, a hearing on the action shed no light on the reasons why the process ended, The House Committee on Oversight and Reform said in a press release.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform first shared the news of the decision.
"In these dark days of continuing government assaults on human rights and human dignity, this appears to be a moment of good news. It is remarkable that it takes emergency hearings in Congress and a national uproar to protect seriously ill children from facing deportation," said Jamie Raskin, committee chairman.
California Rep. James DeSaulnier issued a statement about one of his constituents who had been denied deferred action. DeSaulnier was one of the House Democrats leading the charge against the end of non-military deferred action.
“In a major victory, the Trump Administration will apparently reverse course and resume the deferred action program, allowing hundreds of deserving immigrants like Isabel Bueso to stay in the United States to receive life-saving medical care," DeSaulnier said.
Bueso is a Bay Area resident who depends on weekly medical treatments, KQED reported.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley joined DeSaulnierin asking the administration to reverse its policy.
"Thank you to my colleagues and to the activism of the people, who demanded we affirm the humanity of our immigrant neighbors by reinstating medical deferred action. When we fight, we win," Pressley said in a statement Thursday.
Contributing: Alan Gomez
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump admin to resume deferred deportation for critically ill