Withdrawing from success is not in DACA recipient’s plan, but a nursing license is

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Withdrawing from success is not in DACA recipient’s plan, but a nursing license is

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Editor’s Note: Fatima Vargas is a first year reporter with the Hillsboro Globe who has been covering DACA and immigration related news since August, 2017.

As a news source, our research showed little written from the point of view of the age group the elimination of DACA affects most – the 18 through 25 year old DREAMer. 

Vargas’s sister graduated Hillsboro High School as an honor student who also participated in the prestigious Interdisciplinary Science & Research (ISR) program.

Vargas made an editorial decision not to name her sister specifically, because ‘she’  is to represent all of those future DACA young ladies and young men who are striving at high levels to become leaders in the community.

Students across Nashville participate in programs which enable all students like Fatima and her sister to reach high levels of success because they are supported by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Vanderbilt University, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Next, the Mayor’s Office and Academies of Nashville.

I hope you enjoy. -Susan Strasinger, Advisor to the Hillsboro Globe


DACA Works

When I was 1 year and a half, I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Other than my parents, my sister was my number one supporter.

She would read me books, and tell me jokes while the nurses placed IV’s in my arm. There were days darker than others but she always brought out the light in them.

My sister and I are 5 years apart and she is now 21 years old.  She has successful completed three years of college in order to realize her dream of becoming a nurse. She will say to me, “So many of my childhood memories involved going in and out of hospitals, wondering when my sister would get better.”

It was in those hospital rooms of mine  where my sister decided she wanted to be a nurse.

In the year 2012, life turned to point her toward her dreams and aspirations. The federal government created a new program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

This federal program allowed undocumented immigrant youth like my older sister, to apply for a two-years of  protection from deportation and also apply for a work permit. DACA opened many doors for my sister and she is only one of the 8,300 DACA recipients in Tennessee.

In June of this year, 10 states including Tennessee filed a lawsuit against president Trump to end the DACA program.  The Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services states in its official documentation that “Tennessee DACA has allowed more than 8,300 young people to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in the country.”

Now, nearly over 8,000 teens and young adults now live in fear of their future in the Tennessee.

The impact for someone like my sister is devastating. She is nearly finished with her nursing degree but if DACA isnot reinstated, she will not be able to receive a nursing license even though she has completed 4 years of hard work. As well as, losing her license and work permit. The state of Tennessee has benefitted from the contribution of DREAMers. There is a shortage of nurses in Tennessee and my sister would be fit to take that role.

And Tennessee does need nurses.

In the Tennessee Statewide Supply and Demand Analysis for the 16 Education Clusters the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development states that by 2020, Tennessee rise to the top 15% of the country as a state predicting a “significant shortage”.  

Another study, Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030 written by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Health Workforce National Center for Health Workforce Analysis predicts  that the current shortage in the nursing/health related workforce will double by 2030.

Dismantling the DACA program is not just that it is unfair singularly to my sister who has worked so hard to improve her life, but it is also unfair to the 1,000s of future patients she could be caring for and treating.

The illogicalness of ending the DACA program is only compounded by the fact that the state of Tennessee educated these 8,300+ DREAMers, many K-12. We were told all through school to work hard to get a great job and now workers who are currently contributing to a workforce and continuing with their in Tennessee may find themselves leaving a bigger shortage than study have study predicts the state will have.

Nashville is fast becoming one of the United States’s most diverse cities. The diversity and individuality of each person has something different to contribute.

My sister is just like any other young person who graduated high school and is now attending college. She is idealistic, she wants to change the world and make it healthier, she wants to grow intellectually and sees a future she believes in.

For more on this subject:

Frequently Asked Questions on DACA Termination