SB 1139 Pre-Health Dreamers Press Release




Contact: Regem Corpuz, Policy Advocate,, and

Angela Chen, Director,


Los Angeles, California (28th September, 2016) – Among a slew of legislation signed in California, Governor Brown has signed a historic bill in California that will make all students eligible for health services professional programs, regardless of immigration status, granting access to existing state funds to invest in their education.

SB 1139, authored by Senator Lara, will allow existing funds and programs for health services professionals in California to accept such an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), if applicants cannot provide a Social Security Number (SSN). Moreover, none of the programs below can discriminate an applicant on the basis of their immigration/citizenship status:

  • Programs under the Health Professions Education Fund
  • Registered Nurse Education Fund
  • Mental Health Practitioner Education Fund
  • Vocational Nurse Education Fund
  • The Medically Underserved Account for Physicians
  • Loan forgiveness and Scholarship programs
  • Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Programs

In addition to opening these existing programs to students regardless of immigration status, all medical degree and healing arts residency training programs cannot deny an applicant admission on the basis of their immigration or citizenship status.

This law serves as a huge victory and relief for many undocumented students seeking to pursue a career in a health service profession. “Health professional schools require tremendous financial resources from anyone who decides to pursue these paths”, says Marcela Zhou- currently a 2nd year medical student at the UCLA PRIME program.  “As undocumented health professional students, we are shunned from many traditional funding sources and constantly worry about how we will secure the funding for our education. SB1139, now signed into law, lessens some of those worries, allowing undocumented students to focus on becoming the best health professionals they can be for their communities”. Erick Leyva, Institutional Advocate for Pre-Health Dreamers agrees, “We are glad to see Governor Brown sign this important legislation, as it removes hurdles for immigrant students pursuing their desired health career”.

As SB 1139 is soon to be implemented, California has taken a step forward in removing the barrier immigration status plays into admission or funding opportunities for health professional education programs. By opening this opportunity for immigrant students in California, the state will encourage prospective health professionals who come from communities facing large health disparities. This opens new possibilities for immigrant students to provide the adequate and appropriate services these communities need. SB 1139 is historic, not only for immigrant students, but for the health of all Californians.

SB-1139 Press-Release Pre-Health-Dreamers (350 downloads)

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Sumbul SiddiquiMeet Sumbul Siddiqui, former Neuroscience student at Agnes Scott College, 15’ seeking to pursue a career in medicine. Last June Sumbul was granted advanced parole and was enabled to travel to Pakistan to meet her relatives for the first time in two decades and was even awarded a Project for Peace Award for the work she and her partner were able to accomplish.

Sumbul’s proposal for the Davis Projects for Peace Program was created with the goal of establishing a computer lab and library room to give the students and teachers of Iqra Islamia School a platform for learning, and through the internet, sharing their ideas with a larger community. The amazing work Sumbul contributed to as a part of her project paved an opportunity for Sumbul to not only learn more of her Pakistani heritage, but also to empower the instructors of Iqra Islamia School with technology and training in programs such as powerpoint that will improve the education of the local community for years to come.

From the words of Sumbul: “I’ve learned through this project in Pakistan that we often take the tiniest things for granted in life, and the most important thing that molds us as to who we are today comes from our education. Our understanding of one another comes from the quality of education that we receive, and when we are equipped with the necessary tools, we can promote peace and understanding amongst each other.”

Relive her journey through her project’s blog PakiProject4Peace2015 and official report.

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Illinois Allow Medical & Dental School Loans for Undocumented Students

Loyola DACA


“Smart, hardworking, motivated students are applying to medical school, And because of circumstances beyond their control, they do not have the access to financial assistance.” – chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority.

For all Pre-Med DREAMers / undocumented students applying to medical school, please (highly) consider Loyola Stritch School of Medicine [].

Recap: They are the first and only medical school in the nation to publicly come out and support accepting undocumented students. (Yes, it’s a big deal).

The state of Illinois passed a measure to allow DACA-eligible folks to take out loans to help pay for dental and medical school. More details to come as we find out specifics, but definitely something to keep an eye out for!

Read more at: The Daily Whale