Medical students in limbo over DACA
CHICAGO (AP) — Medical student Alejandra Duran Arreola dreams of becoming an OB-GYN in her home state of Georgia, where there’s a shortage of doctors and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the U.S.
But the 26-year-old Mexican immigrant’s goal is trapped in the debate over a program protecting hundreds of thousands of immigrants such as her from deportation. Whether she becomes a doctor depends on if Congress finds an alternative to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program President Donald Trump phased out last month.
Arreola, who was brought to the U.S. illegally at age 14, is among about 100 medical students nationwide who are enrolled in DACA, and many have become a powerful voice in the immigration debate. Their stories have resonated with leaders in Washington. Having excelled in school and gained admission into competitive medical schools, they’re on the verge of starting residencies to treat patients, a move experts say could help address the nation’s worsening doctor shortage.