Statements on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The AMA continues to work to ensure members of the health care workforce approved for DACA are able to continue employment, education, training and research in the health professions.
At this moment, an estimated 27,000 health care workers and support staff depend on DACA for their authorization to work in the United States. The number also includes nearly 200 medical students, medical residents and physicians who depend on DACA for their eligibility to practice medicine.
If those trainees and physicians retain their work eligibility, each will care for an average of between 1,533 and 4,600 patients a year. Together, over the course of their careers, they will touch the lives of 1.7 to 5.1 million U.S. patients.
On June 18 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in opposition of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s attempt to rescind DACA in a landmark decision. This decision aligns with the amicus brief that the AMA helped to write in conjunction with other leading health organizations, the letter the AMA signed onto urging regulatory or legislative action to retain DACA during the COVID-19 national emergency, and the AMA’s advocacy supporting the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R.6) and the Dream Act of 2019 (S.874). However, this decision only addressed procedural regulations and does not determine the actual legality of DACA, leaving the fate of DACA recipients unclear. As such, the AMA will continue to closely monitor the situation.
- Consistent with our previous advocacy, and in light of the important role that DACA recipients play in the U.S. health care system, the AMA signed-on to a letter with over 70 other organizations urging Vice President Pence, the House of Representatives, and the Senate to take regulatory or legislative action to maintain work authorization for individuals currently in DACA status during the COVID-19 national emergency.
- The AMA worked with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court related to the impact of changes in DACA policy on physicians. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Nov. 12, 2019.
- The AMA along with approximately 70 other health care organizations, supported the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R.6) as well as the Dream Act of 2019 (S.874). The AMA is working with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to draft and file an amicus brief by Oct. 14, 2019 related to the impact of changes in DACA policy on physicians. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in this case on Nov. 12.
The AMA is working with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to draft and file an amicus brief by Oct. 4, 2019 related to the impact of changes in DACA policy on physicians. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in this case on Nov. 12.
Additional advocacy activities
Learn about the AMA's advocacy efforts related to:
AMA immigration policy
Mental health issues
Improving care in detention centers
Care of women and children
Conrad 30 - J-1 visa