The AAMC led 60 health professions organizations in a Dec. 13 letter to congressional leadership urging legislative action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The letter comes as Congress considers multiple year-end packages and whether to include language that addresses the administration’s Sept. 5 decision to rescind DACA [See Washington Highlights, Sept. 8].
The health professions letter notes, “While current DACA recipients will not lose their status until March 5, 2018, health professions students with DACA status and the institutions that train them need a definitive remedy as they enter the next stage of their education and career.” The letter highlights, for example, potential implications on the medical residency “Match.” The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) released a Dec. 11 statement expressing similar concerns.
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 would help us achieve this goal. We urge congressional leadership to advance legislation as soon as possible to ensure health professionals participating in DACA are able to continue their employment, education, training, and research.”
Under the administration’s current wind-down process, new DACA applications will not be accepted and individuals currently participating in DACA will lose their benefits when their individual two-year DACA status expires.