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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Leads Health Professions Letter in Urging Passage of the Dream Act

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst
    Denisse Rojas Marquez, Summer Health Policy Fellow

    The AAMC July 9 led 70 health professions organizations in a letter to Senate leadership urging legislative action for individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other undocumented young people.

    The letter comes as the House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), which provides a pathway to citizenship for certain immigrant youths who arrived to the United States before the age of 18, including DACA recipients [see Washington Highlights, June 7]. The AAMC June 27 also joined 44 higher education organizations in a letter encouraging Senate leadership to take action to provide permanent protections for these individuals.

    The health professions letter states that legislative action “would ensure that members of the health care workforce approved for DACA and other undocumented young people are able to continue their employment, education, training and research in the health professions.” It also highlights how diversity in the health professions increases access to care in underserved communities and how a diverse health professions workforce helps promote a culturally competent workforce.

    The letter reiterates, “Our organizations are dedicated to promoting a culturally competent, diverse, and prepared health and biomedical workforce that leads to improved care and health equity. A permanent legislative remedy to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people would help us achieve this goal.”

    Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to review litigation on the status of DACA in response to the Trump administration’s rescission of the DACA program [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 8, 2017].