DACA Healthcare Workers Aren’t Essential

The Quote Below—More Misinformation from the Media

‘[Jesus] Contreras, 26, is on the frontline of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic, a health crisis of epic proportions. But he is also one of an estimated 29,000 people in healthcare occupations who rely on an Obama-era immigration policy to shield them from deportation, according to a forthcoming analysis from the Center for American Progress (CAP). . . .

“As the supreme court considers whether to greenlight his and hundreds of thousands of other potential deportations during this global pandemic, Contreras believes that getting rid of so many healthcare workers and other talented individuals when the country desperately needs them doesn’t make sense.

“From a heartfelt perspective, it’s like, you know, betraying us despite all the things that we’re doing. From a logical perspective, it’s just counterintuitive,” he said. . . .

“DACA has allowed more than 3,000 registered nurses .  .  .  among other healthcare fields, CAP found. Nearly 200 of the program’s beneficiaries are medical students, residents or physicians, according to the Association of American Medical College (AAMC).

“Donald Trump has been adamant about ending DACA, a goal that’s been stalled for years because of drawn-out court battles that have finally landed in front of the supreme court. Now, the country’s foremost justices are in the process of concluding whether the Trump administration can legally move forward with its plans to rescind the policy, or if that action is even judicially reviewable.

“Once US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gets the go-ahead from the court, it intends to start deporting Dreamers, the agency’s acting head said earlier this year. . . .

“A hit of that magnitude to the country’s healthcare workforce could be ‘potentially devastating’, the AAMC argued even before Covid-19 came to the U.S. But especially in the context of a global pandemic, as states plead for more healthcare professionals to outfit overwhelmed hospitals, attorneys and advocates are asking the Supreme Court to consider their ruling’s potential ramifications.” –  Dreamers on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Health Crisis Work in Limbo, The Guardian. [Link]

Fact Check of Quote Above: The Supreme Court may rule in June on whether to end the DACA program. By that time the coronavirus crisis may have subsided. Even if the program is terminated, it is unlikely that many of the illegal aliens in the DACA category would be deported any time soon thereafter. In 2018, only about one percent of the estimated total of illegal aliens in the U.S. were deported. Most of those were individuals with crimes other than violations of immigration law. The average illegal alien is in little danger of being sent home.

But the most misleading thing about this article is how it implies that DACA health workers are somehow indispensable to our health care system. The claim that 29,000 DACA people are in healthcare professions may be exaggerated, but even if this figure is accurate, it only amounts to .02 percent of the nation’s 14.8 million healthcare workers. Three thousand DACA nurses is only .1 percent of the nation’s 3.3 million registered nurses. Data from the Census Bureau show the that 41,000 thousand nurses and 67,000 hospital technicians were unemployed in 2018.

As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, we have heard of the increasing demands that it is placing on our healthcare system. But this demand has decreased other types of patient care, thereby putting financial stress on hospitals. As a consequence, they have had to lay off staff. Last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43,000 healthcare workers lost their jobs.

This article in The Guardian is typical of pro-immigration propaganda as it exaggerates the importance of immigration to our society, without any particular concern as to whether it is legal or illegal. In reality, if every DACA person left tomorrow, we would have no shortage of healthcare workers to fill in the gap.


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