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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Leads Letter Urging Congressional Action on DACA


    Katherine Cruz, Legislative Analyst
    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC led 77 organizations in a March 21 letter, urging congressional leadership to take legislative action to provide protections and enact a permanent pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The letter followed the reintroduction of the Dream Act (S. 365) by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). 

    The letter highlighted the key role that DACA recipients, specifically the 34,000 DACA recipients who serve as health care workers, play in the nation’s health and biomedical workforce across disciplines. It also emphasized the bipartisan congressional support and broad support from Americans, regardless of party. 

    Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a lower court decision that found the DACA program unlawful. The appeals court left the program intact and ordered the District Court for the Southern District of Texas to review the revised DACA program following a Department of Homeland Security final rule. Current recipients can renew their DACA status and apply for advance parole, but the ruling continues to block new DACA requestors and leaves the program in legal limbo. 

    In 2019, the AAMC filed an amicus brief, joined by 32 organizations representing a range of health professional education groups, opposing DACA’s rescission and informing the Supreme Court that the country had a critical need for those health care professionals whose work authorization depends on DACA. Lawmakers have not indicated any timeline for taking action on the Dream Act this Congress.