MCN Statement: DACA and the Health Care Workforce
We at Migrant Clinicians Network are deeply committed to the development of a health care workforce that meets the needs of all individuals in every community. The pursuit of a clinical workforce that is competent in multiple languages and culturally diverse continues. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative provided opportunities for higher education, including undergraduate and graduate medical training to thousands of young immigrants. DACA also removed barriers to employment making it possible for those completing their training to become practicing physicians, nurses, and other valued members of the health care team.
Each day, more than 120 young immigrants lose their DACA status and are exposed to deportation, among them medical school students, nursing students, residents, and practicing clinicians. Without a decisive action on the part of Congress, the future of these young people and the important role they can play in America’s health care system are in jeopardy.
As clinicians, we see on a daily basis the need for more primary care clinicians with varied language skills and cultural understanding. The loss of this essential health care labor force would negatively affect the reach and quality of the nation’s health care system. We call on our fellow clinicians, policy makers, and neighbors to stand for the continuation of the protections provided by DACA to immigrant youth.
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