Chicago-area medical professionals who are in the United States as recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hailed the Supreme Court’s ruling to protect DACA Thursday, but said a permanent solution is needed to prevent deportations.
According to U. S. Senator Dick Durbin’s office, an estimated 41,700 DACA recipients work in the health care industry.
Dr. Diana Andino was born in Ecuador and moved to the United States as an 11-year-old. She said DACA provided her with identification documents, which helped her as she applied to medical school.
Andino is now a resident at the Loyola University Health System. She said the Supreme Court’s ruling offers hope.
“It definitely puts at ease the anxiety that we had coming in the past few years, especially with the pandemic and everything,” Andino said. “It’s very exciting that it didn’t get revoked.”
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine was one of the first medical schools in the country to accept DACA students. A spokesperson said 42 DACA recipients have either graduated from the school or are currently studying there.
The Supreme Court’s ruling may be a victory for those who feared deportation, but medical student and DACA recipient Ali Reza Torabi said it is only a stop-gap.
“We have to make sure we keep pressing forward in recognizing something that is more permanent,” Torabi said.
Torabi, who was born in Iran and moved to the United States 25 years ago, said he wants to become a U.S. citizen.
“So that I can have a larger platform to do more to help my community,” Torabi said.