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    March 21, 2023 

    The Honorable Kevin McCarthy The Honorable Chuck Schumer
    Speaker of the House Majority Leader
    U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20510


    The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries The Honorable Mitch McConnell
    Minority Leader Minority Leader
    U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Speaker McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader Jeffries, and Minority Leader McConnell:

    On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we urge you to enact legislation that provides permanent protections for “Dreamers” who came to the U.S. as children, built their lives here, and are American in every way except for their immigration status. Their contributions to the U.S. health and biomedical workforce are invaluable, particularly to the individual patients they serve on a daily basis, but are threatened by judicial uncertainty and regulatory impermanence.

    Currently, 34,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients – physicians, nurses, dentists, and many others - provide health care to patients in communities across the nation.1 Meanwhile, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) estimates that 99 million Americans live in primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), 70 million live in dental health HPSAs, and 158 million live in mental health HPSAs.2 To put it in perspective, at least 17,000 primary care practitioners, 12,000 dental health practitioners, and 8,000 mental health practitioners would be needed to serve these areas to eliminate their shortage designation.3 In light of these nationwide health workforce shortages, the DACA program and its corresponding work authorizations are critical to retaining and expanding our nation’s health workforce and health care capacity.


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