Congress Must Quickly and Decisively Protect the Future of Dreamers

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

Statement attributable to:
John Meigs, Jr., MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Congress must act to resolve the now-uncertain legal status of the estimated 800,000 people who are currently protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). These young people face a cloudy future because of the Administration’s decision to end the DACA program in six months.

“The young people who have participated in DACA are in the United States through no fault of their own. They have demonstrated their commitment to the only nation they have ever known. They have pursued an education (with many entering medical school and/or residency programs as well as other health professions programs), served in the U.S. military or maintained employment.

“We are already facing a shortage of primary care physicians. Ending DACA protections could further threaten patient access to care, particularly in medically underserved areas. According to sources, 108 students with DACA status applied to U.S. medical schools. Now, they cannot be assured they will complete their medical education and the three to six years of residency training to become physicians. Not only does the loss of DACA protection deprive these students of a future, it also could deny Americans access to care.

“The six-month delay gives Congress a chance to implement the intent of DACA through the legislative process. The American Academy of Family Physicians calls on Congress to act quickly and decisively to protect the future of these productive, contributing members of our communities.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Meigs, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237,
Ext. 6252, or




# # #

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,