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California’s physicians stand with dreamers – urge Congress to protect 800,000 undocumented youth



September 05, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy 

Today, the Trump Administration announced it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which currently protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation. More than a fourth of “Dreamers” reside in California, and Congress has been asked to craft replacement legislation within the next six months.

In response, California Medical Association (CMA) President Ruth E. Haskins, M.D., made the following statement:

“Today’s decision does little to reform our nation’s immigration system – it simply punishes young people who are American in all ways but on paper. What’s more, our nation’s health care system has the largest percentage of foreign-born and foreign-trained workers of any industry in the country. Already facing a national shortage of physicians and other health care professionals, revoking DACA could also undermine patient care and disrupt medical schools and hospitals for decades to come. We urge Congress to support solutions that don’t needlessly punish young Americans, preserves patient access to care, alleviates our nation’s physician shortage and supports health care workforce diversity.”

The U.S. is projected to have 95,000 fewer physicians than the country needs by 2025. California ranks 32nd in physician access and needs 8,243 additional primary care physicians by 2030 – a 32 percent increase. More than 94 percent of 800 health career-bound Dreamers want to practice health care in underserved areas, and the number of Dreamers accepted into medical school has steadily increased – from 26 in 2014 to 112 in 2016.

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The California Medical Association represents the state’s physicians with more than 43,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit CMAnet.org, and follow CMA on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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