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Internists Applaud Passage of Dream and Promise Act of 2019, Support Residents and Medical Students Protected Under DACA

Statement attributable to:
Douglas DeLong, MD, FACP
Chair, Board of Regents, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (June 5, 2019) —American College of Physicians (ACP) is encouraged by the passage of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented children who came to the United States due to the action of their parents, also known as “Dreamers.” The permanent legal status that this legislation could grant to Dreamers would allow these individuals to continue to contribute fully in the country they know to be their home.

The uncertain future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program poses a threat to public health and to our health care workforce. Without the protections granted by the DACA program, access to health care would be in peril for all of the individuals in the program. Furthermore, undermining DACA would negatively impact the physician workforce and the patients they treat. ACP is specifically concerned about the potential deportation of undocumented medical students, residents, fellows, practicing physicians, and others who came to the U.S. due to the actions of their parents and have obtained or are eligible for DACA status. These physicians have the experience and background needed to treat an increasingly diverse patient population.

That’s why we believe it’s imperative for the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 to move forward to the U.S. Senate and allow these students and physicians to continue their studies or their medical practice without fear of deportation.

ACP looks forward to continuing to advocate for Dreamers so that they can continue to live, work, and study in this country and begin a pathway to citizenship. We applaud Representatives Lucille Roybal–Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) for their leadership and moving this important legislation forward.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jackie Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org