Thursday, June 18, 2020
More Reasons for a Serious Bi-Partisan Commitment to Citizenship for DACA Health & Long-Term Care Workers
Shared by my colleague, Professor Medha Makhlouf, who heads Dickinson Law's Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic, this thoughtful article explaining the importance of DACA-recipient health care workers in the United States, especially now:
The Covid-19 pandemic is stretching our public health system to its limits and challenging our ability to meet the urgent and critical medical needs of the country as never before. As executives responsible for the legal affairs of major hospitals and lawyers working in Covid-19 hot spots, we know how crucial it is to have every available front-line medical worker fighting this pandemic. . . .
New data from the Center for American Progress reveals that the DACA-recipient health care work force includes more than 6,000 diagnosing and treating practitioners, including respiratory therapists, physicians assistants and nurses; some 8,000 health aides, including nursing assistants and orderlies; more than 7,000 other health care support workers; and some 5,500 health technologists and technicians.
The Association of American Medical Colleges told the Supreme Court that nearly 200 physicians, medical students and residents depend on DACA for their ability to practice medicine and serve their communities. Those 200 trainees and physicians alone would care for hundreds of thousands of patients per year in normal times — the association estimates as many as 4,600 patients per year, per person. Under the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, those numbers will be much higher.
The Center for Migration Studies found that 43,500 DACA recipients work in the health care and social-assistance industries, including more than 10,000 in hospitals....
The decision on the DACA case is expected this week. "If the Supreme Court upholds the decision to terminate DACA, nearly 700,000 people — including those health care workers — will lose their ability to work and live in the United States." For more, ready the full NYT article, There's Only One Thing Stopping Trump From Deporting Health Care Workers.
For once, the members of Congress from both sides of the aisle should be ready with emergency legislation for citizenship (or at a minimum, permanent residency status) for these essential workers. It is the least we can do for people who are doing the most. And it is vital for the best interests of public health across the nation. A win-win, if we can just focus on what's important.
WOW! Moments after I posted the above, I see the news flash that Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration Attempt to End DACA, A Win for Undocumented Immigrants Brought to U.S. As Children.
After reading the opinion(s), it is clear that while DACA recipients have a temporary reprieve, the real need is serious consideration of true relief from fear of deportation. Must they really wait until after the election?