Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), at the end of her patience, demands to know why ICE official Daniel Renaud refuses to answer her questions during a hearing on Wednesday, September 11. (

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), at the end of her patience, demands to know why ICE official Daniel Renaud refuses to answer her questions during a hearing on Wednesday, September 11. (Image: CSPAN/screenshot)

As AOC and Ayanna Pressley Demand Answers on Trump Policy That Would Deport Sick Kids, ICE Officials at Hearing Refuse to Talk

"This is a threat to the rule of law."

Eoin Higgins

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley took ICE representatives to task Wednesday at a congressional hearing on how President Donald Trump's war on immigrants has affected ill children and their families, but were ultimately stymied in that effort as the officials refused to cooperate or answer questions.

"This is a threat to the rule of law," Ocasio-Cortez said of the recalcitrance of Daniel Renaud, ICE's associate director of field operations, and Timothy Robbins, the acting executive associate director of ICE's enforcement and removal operations, in the face of her questions. 

The House Oversight Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee hearing on the Trump administration's "apparent revocation of medical deferred action for critically ill children" also heard from victims of the policy, including Maria Isabel Bueso, who suffers from the rare disease mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, and Jonathan Sanchez, who has cystic fibrosis. Both Bueso and Sanchez could be sent to their home countries, away from life saving care, under the administration's proposed policy disallowing deportation deferments for children with diseases and their families.

As Common Dreams reported, the policy change was announced in August, when families of patients at Boston Medical Center received letters from ICE informing them of a 33-day limit to their deportations being deferred. 

At the beginning of her questions Wednesday, Pressley tore into the Trump administration for its immigration policies. 

"Just when I think that the occupant of this White House and his xenophobic administration cannot reach any new lows—they decide to go even lower," said Pressley. "Giving seriously ill children and their families 33 days to leave the country and risk being deported."

During the hearing, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) waved a copy of the letter at Renaud and Robbins. 

"This is a cruel, heartless thing to send out," said DeSaulnier.

Ocasio-Cortez questioned Renaud and Robbins on the policy but both men told her and other lawmakers repeatedly that they could not answer for reasons relating to ongoing litigation. 

The New York Democrat turned to subcommittee chair Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and said, "we are getting open resistance."

Pressley expressed frustration as Renaud and Robbins repeatedly evaded her questions on requests from patients to reconsider deferment refusals. 

"For the questions you've not answered based on pending litigation, do you actually know the answer to those questions?" the Massachusetts Democrat said at the end of her questions, clearly exasperated.

At the hearing's conclusion, Ocasio-Cortez gave Renaud and Robbins until Friday to answer her questions on who recommended they stonewall the subcommittee under oath and suggested that if the duo did not answer the questions, the subcommittee should seek a subpoena. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

One Year In, Biden Fails to Boost C- Grade on Environment

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund assessment indicates the administration's action to deliver on environmental promises "desperately needs improvement."

Jessica Corbett ·


'A No-Brainer': Lawmakers Urge Pelosi to Hold Vote on Stock Trading Ban

"Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities," said House members in a bipartisan letter. "We don't care."

Jessica Corbett ·


Virginia Schools Sue Youngkin Mandate Making Masks Optional

The Republican governor wants to allow parents to decide whether their children should wear masks to school to mitigate Covid-19 transmission—guidance at least 58 school districts have no plans to follow.

Julia Conley ·


US Puts Troops on Standby as War Tensions Over Ukraine Mount

The U.K. threatens "lightning war" as military forces mobilize in eastern Europe.

Andrea Germanos ·


Advocacy Group Urges Pfizer to Combat Paxlovid Inequality

"Help end the pandemic this year around the world," one advocate told Pfizer. "Not just in a handful of rich countries."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo