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  • Washington Highlights

    DHS Announces DACA Program Will Continue

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

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) June 15 issued guidance on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program assuring individuals with DACA status that their protections under the program would not change. According to DHS, individuals with current DACA status will not have their status revoked and will be eligible for renewal once their status expires.

    On its website DHS explained, “DACA recipients will continue to be eligible as outlined in the June 15, 2012 memorandum. DACA recipients who were issued three-year extensions before the district court’s injunction will not be affected, and will be eligible to seek a two-year extension upon their expiration. No work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.”

    In a Dec. 8, 2016, letter AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, urged then President-elect Trump to protect DACA recipients, explaining that “[s]tudents with DACA status encompass a diverse, multicultural, multiethnic population, who are often bilingual and more likely to practice medicine in underserved communities. DACA grants lawful presence in the United States, work authorization, Social Security numbers, and in many cases state IDs and driver’s licenses, all of which make attending medical school and residency training possible.” [See Washington Highlights, Dec. 16, 2016]

    In his letter, Dr. Kirch emphasized that “[m]edical students and residents with DACA status represent an important segment of the U.S. population, and their participation in our health care workforce will benefit all U.S. patients.”