“DACA recipients, who are employed at higher rates than the general U.S. population, hold thousands of jobs in essential occupations like education,” Bloomberg said. “A recent academic analysis revealed that more than 36,000 teaching positions are currently empty in the United States, a shortage that would be exacerbated with the loss of employment authorization for DACA recipients.
About 34,000 DACA recipients work in healthcare and have been among the frontline workers of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Ana Cueva is an critical care nurse who traveled from her home in Utah to help care for patients in California. She credited the nurses who helped her mother after cancer for inspiring her to become a nurse too. “She was telling me how the nurses at the hospital helped her through a difficult time,” she told CNN. Manuel Bernal, an emergency physician in training at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Chicago, Told The Washington Post it was risky work. “But I also understand that this is part of the job I signed up for. I think it’s worth it when I see patients coming in who are extremely sick, and I’m able to intervene.
The United States also faces a critical health care worker shortage that the pandemic has only gotten worse. Lawmakers like Democratic Senator Alex Padilla have said that one way to address this problem is to update our country’s immigration system. But no Republican in his chamber stepped in to push humane immigration legislation. Instead, the GOP platform continues to be pro-deportation, as that is their position in trying to end DACA.
GOP opposition to passing humane immigration legislation has immense human costs, and immense economic costs. A coalition of leading companies and business leaders have warned that if the Republicans succeeded in their efforts, an estimated 22,000 DACA recipients could lose their work permits each month. Ultimately, ending DACA would result in the loss of half a million jobs and cost our economy nearly $12 billion. The companies are urging congressional leaders to act before the end of the year.
“The labor shortage will worsen in the United States if hundreds of thousands of critical workers are deprived of their legal ability to support themselves and their families,” they continued. This includes Rocha, who taught students from kindergarten to sixth grade and worked as a nanny and housekeeper before becoming an educator.
“I saw the lack of teachers who looked like me, who were from my community, who related to the students,” she said in the report. “There is a science behind teaching. I’m fascinated with teaching kids how to say thank you, how to blow their nose, how to start reading.
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