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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC, Higher Education Associations Support DACA and DREAM Act

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    The AAMC joined 36 higher education associations on an Aug. 28 letter to President Trump urging the administration to keep Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) intact until a permanent solution can be reached. 

    Organized by the American Council on Education, the letter notes, “The high-achieving young people in DACA contribute in many ways to our nation.” As highlighted in a Dec. 8, 2016, AAMC letter to then President-elect Trump, “Efforts to accommodate these individuals will help medical schools and teaching hospitals produce a diverse and culturally responsive health care workforce to meet the needs of underserved populations, improve cultural awareness, and promote health equity” [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 16, 2016].

    In Congress, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) stated he would attempt to force a vote on the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act (H.R. 496, S. 128), using a discharge petition if a majority of the House of Representatives agree they should take up the measure later in September. The BRIDGE Act would grant individuals who are eligible for DACA a “provisional protected presence” and employment authorization for three years after the date of enactment.

    Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) July 20 introduced the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615), which would establish an eight-year conditional permanent residency status for the narrow cohort of undocumented American children known as “Dreamers.” The AAMC and 32 higher education associations July 25 urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to advance this important legislation so that the Senate can quickly pass the Dream Act before the end of the year.