Ocasio-Cortez slams GOP for 'profoundly dehumanizing' treatment of sick immigrants


Families with serious medical conditions have been targeted for deportation by the Trump administration.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Wednesday apologized on behalf of the American people to families dealing with serious medical issues who were being targeted by the Trump administration for deportation.

Ocasio-Cortez's comments came during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee entitled "The Administration’s Apparent Revocation of Medical Deferred Action for Critically Ill Children."

Among those testifying were Maria Isabel Bueso Barrera, who suffers from Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, and Jonathan Sanchez, who has cystic fibrosis.


In August, Barrera, who moved to the United States from Guatemala to undergo clinical trials in 2003, was threatened with a letter telling her and her family to leave the country or face deportation. The threat was part of a larger move by the Trump administration to eliminate the "deferred action" program that allows immigrants undergoing lifesaving medical treatment to remain in the United States.

After national pushback on that move, U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) said it would reopen cases of immigrants facing severe medical conditions who had been denied humanitarian relief under the Trump administration.

Ocasio-Cortez apologized on Wednesday to the families affected by that whiplash decision, noting that Republican members of the committee were "speaking in profoundly dehumanizing terms to you and you don't deserve that."

"I'd like to apologize to you on behalf of the United States of America," she added, "for the dehumanizing policies that they are pursuing. That are frankly targeting you and targeting many people in the United States."

"We're 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."

Trump has repeatedly pushed for more restrictive and draconian immigration policies, with much of the effort spearheaded by senior aide Stephen Miller, who has expressed anti-immigrant sentiments on numerous occasions.

The Trump administration has also attacked the Statue of Liberty and its pro-immigrant message to demonstrate its opposition to migration.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.