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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Comment Letter in Support of DACA Policy


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

    AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD, submitted a Nov. 29 comment letter in response to a proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

    The proposed rule follows a Jan. 20 executive memorandum in which President Joe Biden directed the DHS to take all appropriate actions to preserve and fortify DACA, as well as a July 16 U.S. District Court decision vacating the June 2012 memorandum that created the DACA policy and enjoining the DHS from “administering the DACA program and from reimplementing DACA without compliance with” the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

    The AAMC letter applauds “the Administration’s efforts to preserve and fortify DACA, and now codifying it through this formal rulemaking process under the [APA],” and urges “Congress to enact a permanent pathway to citizenship for individuals with DACA status, including approximately 30,000 health professionals.”

    Additionally, the AAMC letter responded to policy changes in the proposed rule and circulating in Congress by recommending the following:

    • The DHS should begin accepting new DACA applications.
    • Work authorization should continue to be granted automatically and coincide with granting DACA status.
    • DACA recipients should be eligible for Federal Student Aid benefits.
    • All benefits afforded to DACA recipients should carry over after a change of status to another immigration category.

    Legislative changes to expand immigration parole for individuals who are living in the United States without authorization were approved in the House-passed Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) [refer to Washington Highlights, Nov. 19], but the inclusion of those provisions in the final package is currently under review by the Senate parliamentarian.