AMA Supports DACA & BRIDGE Act

AMA Supports DACA & BRIDGE Act

The American Medical Association (AMA) has publicly supported the BRIDGE Act, which promises to protect DACA recipients from being deported. The bipartisan bill will protect these undocumented individuals if the president repeals the DACA program, as promised during his campaign. Short for the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, the BRIDGE Act will offer those who qualify 3 years of work authorization and protected legal status. The Act is still before the House and Senate and has not been passed yet.

In their public letter of support for the bill, the AMA cited a study that found 112 students with DACA status applied to medical schools in the US, of which approximately 70 enrolled in 2016. They cited another study that estimated that the DACA program could add 5,400 physicians to the US healthcare system throughout the coming years.

These individuals help contribute to a diverse and culturally responsive physician workforce, which in turn helps benefit not only traditionally underserved patients but all patients as well. DACA recipients should be able to continue to study and work without fear of being deported.

In addition to their support of undocumented students, the AMA reached out to the Department of Homeland Security in response to the Executive Order banning travel from 7 Muslim-majority countries. The organization is justly concerned by the ban as one out of every four physicians practicing in the US is a foreign national, most of whom work in specialties that face significant workforce shortages. The AMA urged the Trump Administration to “provide details and mitigate any negative impact on our nation’s healthcare system.”

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