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House panel preparing to subpoena heads of two immigration agencies

House panel preparing to subpoena heads of two immigration agencies
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The House Oversight and Reform Committee plans to subpoena the heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for testimony. 

Oversight Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsWe must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Md.) sent a memo on Thursday saying he planned to subpoena acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and acting ICE Director Matthew Albence to testify on Oct. 17.

He wrote in the memo he was calling the officials to testify over the temporary end of a USCIS policy allowing some migrants to not be deported while they receive life-saving medical treatments, which the committee is investigating.

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“Throughout the Committee’s investigation, the Administration has refused to produce requested documents, and agency officials have refused to answer questions regarding why the Administration sought to deport these children, who was responsible for this decision, and how requests for deferred action will be handled going forward,” Cummings wrote. 

“The Administration claimed that it was withholding this information because it was in ‘active litigation’ with a private party—an argument the Supreme Court has rejected as a basis to withhold documents from Congress,” he added. 

The committee plans to issue the subpoenas on Oct. 15, according to a statement. 

CNN first reported on the memo Thursday. 

USCIS said last month that it will resume processing some requests for deferred deportations after backlash over the change. 

An ICE representative declined to comment on the subpoena intent, saying that the agency responds to congressional correspondence "through official channels."

The Hill has reached out to USCIS for comment.