70 health care groups urge Congress to take action on DACA

70 health care groups urge Congress to take action on DACA
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Seventy health care organizations urged Congressional leadership on Thursday to take action on a federal program for young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. 

The organizations, led by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), said Congress should provide a legal pathway to permanent residency for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. 

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"By providing a legal pathway to permanent residency for undocumented Americans brought to the U.S. as children, Congress can help our country produce a diverse and culturally responsive health care workforce to meet the needs of underserved populations, improve cultural awareness, and promote health equity," the groups wrote in a letter to House and Senate leadership. 

"With the nation’s population growing and becoming increasingly diverse, it is crucial that the health professions workforce respond to the changing demographics of the country to mitigate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities," they wrote.

"We urge congressional leadership to advance legislation before health professionals participating in DACA lose their lawful status and are unable to continue their employment, education, training, and research," they said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), emerged from a White House dinner with President Trump on Wednesday and announced they had reached an agreement in principle over how to handle recipients of the DACA program.

Trump also told reporters Thursday "we're working on a plan for DACA."