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Pre-Health Dreamers' Response to Supreme Court DACA Decision

Dear PHD family, 

We did it!! We had a huge win this morning when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the DACA program. We are elated that many members from the PHDreamers’ community and beyond, were able to take a sigh of relief and celebrate this moment. The DACA program supports nearly 700,000 individuals nationally and impacts even more families and communities across the country.

This moment can bring mixed emotions. Many members in the PHD community are not eligible for DACA or have family members and loved ones who were left behind by this immigration policy. We also acknowledge that DACA was never a permanent solution and it does not provide a pathway to citizenship. We firmly believe in the need for a comprehensive immigration reform that benefits all undocumented immigrants in this country. Today’s victory is a battle won from a much larger war that still needs to be fought.  

We hope to help answer some questions on what today’s decision means. According to the Immigration Legal Resource Center (ILRC), today’s decision means that the court sided with DACA recipients in acknowledging that the way the program was rescinded was unlawful. Even though the program has been reinstated, it is important to note that the administration can still try to end the program. What the decision means for the time being is that the program will continue with the following benefits: 

 

  • Current DACA recipients can continue to submit renewal applications. 

  • Individuals who meet eligibility for DACA will be able to submit new applications.

  • All eligible individuals should consult with a legal representative prior to submitting a DACA application for the first time. 

  • Advanced Parole may open in the future, but it is unclear what this will look like given the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. 

For those seeking financial assistance for DACA, please visit this website by RAICES! 

It is important that everyone in the community take the time to process their emotions regardless of what they may be. However, PHD recognizes that we must continue to advocate for more progressive institutional policies for the undocumented community. We strongly believe that no piece of paper or status defines who you are. We will continue to shape our own futures regardless of what may come and not let restrictive and discriminatory policies hold us down. 

PHD wants to thank all the undocumented individuals that advocated for DACA to stay and consistently consistently advocates for the rights of all immigrants. For years, many individuals have tirelessly shared their stories to politicians and to the media including hundreds of individuals in the PHD community. Every single individual who was also so brave to share their story to their peers, teachers, counselors, admission officers and others, we thank you as well. Thank you to all who marched and protested in support of all undocumented immigrants. Your courageous work as undocumented young people and adults has been a powerful one and never forget that this victory came with your work. WE earned it. 

We would also like to thank the organizations and institutions that filed against the administration when DACA was rescinded in 2017. Pre-Health Dreamers joined the Association of American Medical Colleges and 31 other organizations in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court filed in September 2019 where we detailed why the DACA program was vital to health care professionals. We included results from our 2019 Breaking More Barriers report (shout out to all who completed the survey!). Our very own co-founder New Latthivongskorn was a plaintiff in the first lawsuit filed against the Trump Administration for rescinding DACA. And Denisse Rojas, also co-founder of PHD, was the sole witness to the DACA program in the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing a month after the program was rescinded. Our PHD community was instrumental in this fight. 

We’d like to share other recent media featuring our PHD community! Including Dr. Veronica Velasquez (Doctor of Physical Therapy), Dr. Dalia Larios, MD, Dr. Cesar Andrade, Drs Andino and Barnal, and Krissia Rivera (medical student at Brown). 

Today’s news will continue to benefit an estimated 699,350 active DACA recipients residing in the United States. However, advocacy must continue for all undocumented and TPS individuals. Families deserve to stay together. In this fight with you - today and always. 

 

Yours truly, 

Yadira Ortiz, Executive Director Pre-Health Dreamers ||

Denisse Rojas Marquez, Co-founder, Pre-Health Dreamers ||

Dr. New Latthivongskorn, Co-founder, Pre-Health Dreamers ||

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