Letter: DACA recipients can help improve health care

DACA recipients can help improve health care

I've lived in Dalton almost my entire life and am proud to say that recently I graduated from Dalton State College with a nursing degree. The sad reality is though, that because I was brought here from Mexico at a young age, my ability to pursue my nursing passion could be lost.

I would love nothing more than to use my knowledge and skills to help Georgians -- particularly as we face a major shortage of health care providers, with some counties without a single doctor.

With my training, I know that I could make a big impact, but my options are limited.

I'm a DACA -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- program recipient, and due to the 2017 program rescission, my life is in limbo. Court injunctions have left the program in place, but only temporarily. In order to continue building my life and career here, Congress needs to pass permanent protections for Dreamers and the Temporary Protected Status holders that face a similar plight.

Georgia needs more health care providers, and the inaction we're seeing from lawmakers in Washington on the Dream and Promise Act is only hurting Georgians' access to health care. I thank the Georgia representatives who've co-sponsored the bill and encourage the rest to follow. Lives are at stake and this bill would provide an avenue for immigrants like me to eventually earn citizenship and, ultimately, help improve our rural health care.

Jesus Herrera Valdez

Dalton

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