FWD.us Statement: Trump Administration Stays Silent About Plans to Deport DACA Recipients as SCOTUS Accepts Supplemental Brief on DACA Health Care Workers Fighting the Pandemic

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion to file supplemental briefing after oral argument filed by the DACA recipient plaintiffs in Wolf v. Batalla Vidal, one of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) termination cases currently pending before the Court. The supplemental brief accepted for filing today shared important information about the nearly 30,000 DACA recipient health care workers who would be at risk of deportation if the Supreme Court allows Trump to terminate DACA. As the brief said, it would be “catastrophic” to terminate DACA amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief also drew the Court’s attention to repeated statements by senior Trump Administration officials regarding the Administration’s plans, which are already underway, to begin deporting DACA recipients as soon as it is allowed to do so.

The Trump Administration chose not to respond to this important – and unusual – filing. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s silence on the value of essential workers with DACA makes entirely clear that they know that ending DACA–ending work authorization and deporting DACA recipients, almost a third of whom work in health care and other essential industries–would deal a catastrophic blow to our efforts to fight the pandemic and further devastate our economy. They do not defend their position because, quite frankly, it is indefensible. Their failure to respond to this filing to the Supreme Court shows they do not have any case to rebut these devastating consequences.

“Instead of giving President Trump the green light to deport nearly 700,000 DACA recipients and tear apart families that include 256,000 U.S. citizen children, the Supreme Court should reject the morally and economically indefensible decision to terminate DACA. At a minimum, the Court should force the Trump Administration to account for the interests of employers, our health care system, and communities across the country and explain why it’s in our nation’s interest to end this vital and successful program.”

Numerous outlets and editorial boards have detailed the devastating impact of removing essential workers with DACA from the COVID 19 response, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, USA Today, Boston Globe, Univision’s Primer Impacto, People en Español, Univision’s Despierta America, and Univision’s Diario de Coronavirus. Additional data on the essential DACA recipient workforce is also below:

More than 200,000 DACA recipients – almost 1/3 of the entire DACA recipient population – are employed in essential industries such as health care, transportation and warehousing, food service, manufacturing, grocery and drug stores, and waste management services.

  • 43,500 DACA recipients work in the health care and social assistance industries, either on the frontlines or in supporting roles.
  • More than 10,000 DACA recipients work in hospitals.
  • Source: Center for Migration Studies, 3/30/20

Nearly 30,000 DACA recipients are health care workers.

  • More than 6,000 diagnosing and treating practitioners such as respiratory therapists, physicians assistants, and nurses.
  • Some 8,000 health aides, including nursing assistants and orderlies;
  • 7,000 other health care support workers; and
  • Approximately 5,500 health technologists and technicians.
  • Source: Center for American Progress, 4/6/2020

200 doctors and medical students depend on DACA to practice and serve their communities.

  • On average, each doctor would see 4,600 people per year, meaning DACA doctors have the potential to care for hundreds of thousands of people each year.
  • The volume of care during this pandemic is likely to be even higher.
  • Source: Association of American Medical Colleges, 10/4/19

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