Denisse Rojas, a medical school student and DACA recipient from California, writes in a personal testimony how the program transformed her life and called on members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject anti-immigrant Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General.
Denisse, who was present at yesterday’s Senate Judiciary hearing, writes that DACA “was a relief to so many, like myself, who could continue the educational endeavors, resume their careers or even let themselves dream of becoming health professionals.”
Denisse has advocated for over 700 Dreamers through her organization, Pre-Health Dreamers, which supports young immigrants who have aspirations of becoming health care professionals.
“Among our successes was engaging with dozens of medical schools and health professional programs to open their doors to undocumented students,” she writes in her letter, “and co-sponsoring legislation in California to expand eligibility to professional licenses to individuals regardless of their immigration status.”
“Needless to say, without DACA, I would not have been able to enter medical school nor been able to receive my numerous awards and distinctions. Though I have devoted myself to my studies and activities outside the classroom, DACA was the answer that lifted the ceiling to my educational and career ambitions. I can now truly amount to anything I set myself to do.”
“And without DACA or a long-term immigration remedy, I will not be able to practice as a doctor. DACA has allowed for the significant economic and social incorporation of undocumented persons to American society and has only served to benefit communities nationwide.”
But like Oscar Vazquez, a formerly undocumented immigrant and US Army veteran who testified at Sessons’ second hearing today, Denisse fears Sessions’ confirmation could put a stop to her future in medicine and her organization’s work.
“In many instances, Senator Jeff Sessions has expressed extreme anti-immigrant sentiments,” Denisse continues. “His appointment as Attorney General would be devastating to millions of individuals like myself, who only desire to be fully participating members of society.”
“Without fair and just solutions to our immigration system, my future as a physician and the aspirations and livelihood of millions of undocumented immigrants are in jeopardy.”
Denisse met with California’s junior Senator, Kamala Harris, yesterday. Senator Harris also sent out a tweet of support for Dreamers like Denisse.
— David Leopold (@DavidLeopold) January 10, 2017
740,000 DREAMers grew up pledging allegiance to the only flag they know – the American flag. We must work together to #SaveDACA.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 10, 2017