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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA

Letter to the Editor: Latino Medical Students Association stands with undocumented immigrants

By camayak

Sept. 17, 2017 11:53 p.m.

Editor’s note: This submission uses the term Dreamers to refer to DACA recipients. The term Dreamer originates from the DREAM Act, which did not become a law.

This article was updated Sept. 21 at 1:20 p.m.

The Latino Medical Student Association at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science wholeheartedly denounces President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It is unethical and openly targets a vulnerable population.

We urge Congress to intervene quickly to enact an immigration law that protects the status of more than 800,000 Dreamers and all undocumented families.

DACA has been instrumental in providing tangible opportunities for Dreamers who previously, in the vast majority of states, were denied the right to access basic healthcare, work and pursue college and graduate degrees. DACA recipients, and all undocumented immigrants, are integral members of our society.

Seventy Dreamers are our classmates in medical schools around the country, and they are dedicating their lives to serving and protecting the health of those in their communities. Without DACA protection, though, our colleagues will face even greater adversity in fulfilling their hopes and dreams.

The decision to rescind DACA is unethical, xenophobic, hypocritical and purely political. It is our moral and humanitarian obligation to protect our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Although this decision will have tremendous negative impact on members of our community, we will not lessen our support for DACA recipients, their families and all undocumented communities. LMSA signed onto the Association of American Medical Colleges’ letter to the Trump administration in support of DACA, and is collaborating with Med Dreamers at UCLA to host an immigration legal clinic for students who are DACA recipients.

In addition to our support of DACA, we demand comprehensive immigration reform that ensures families of DACA recipients, and all undocumented immigrants, can thrive in society under the full protection of the law. For far too long, millions of immigrants have been left without a clear path to legalization, leading to great personal hardship, abuse in the workplace and limited access to necessary social and health services. These obstacles, along with the uncertainty of what their futures hold, take an emotional toll that negatively impacts their mental well-being. We urge Congress to open pathways to legalization for the millions of undocumented immigrants who are suffering under the current broken immigration system.

To all DACA recipients, and to all undocumented immigrants, we stand with you in solidarity. We love you, we see you and we will continue fighting with you. ¡La lucha sigue!

Esteban Aguayo, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Marvin Ambriz, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Andrea Araujo, second-year UCLA medical student

Elvis Arteaga, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Jorge Ballon, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Stephanie Clavijo, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Isabel Del Canto, second-year UCLA medical student

Andrea Diaz, second-year UCLA medical student

Oscar Echeverria, second-year UCLA medical student

Mildred Galvez, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Jessie Guerrero, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Roberto Gonzalez Huerta, second-year UCLA medical student

Brenda Iglesias, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Beatriz Marrón, second-year UCLA medical student

Jack McGregor, second-year UCLA medical student

Ruth Miranda, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Jackelyn Moya, second-year UCLA medical student

Mariela Nevarez, second-year UCLA and CDU medical student

Jessica Osorio, second-year UCLA medical student

Adam Peña, second-year UCLA medical student

Anabel Alcaraz Vargas, second-year UCLA medical student


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