27-year-old DACA recipient Ana Cueva, an intensive care nurse, is also on the front lines as she waits for a decision. While she’s from Utah, she’s been pulling 12-hour overnight shifts at a hospital in northern California. “I love what I do, and I’m good at it,” she told The Post. Back in 2018, she credited the nurses who helped care for her mom after cancer for inspiring her to become a nurse as well. "She would tell me how the nurses at the hospital helped her through a difficult time,” she told CNN at the time.
Jose Angel Mejia Martinez, a 25-year-old patient care assistant in Staten Island University Hospital’s ER, is also among the roughly 27,000 DACA recipients who work as medical care professionals. “Honestly what it really comes down to I am just grateful to have a job and be on the front lines helping people because that’s a passion of mine,” he wrote on Facebook, according to The Post. “Some people right now are without work. I pray that I don’t get sick with the virus like some people are dying right in front of my eyes.”
During a recent White House propaganda briefing, Mike Pence feigned some furrowed brow concern when a reporter asked about deporting nearly 30,000 medical care workers during a pandemic. Pence falsely claimed: “Well, I think the President has been very clear on his desire to reach a solution on that issue with the Congress,” and “we’re incredibly inspired by the way people across this country are stepping up to keep ... health care rolling and available, a high quality of care, even in areas deeply impacted by the coronavirus.”
If your bullshit alarm just sounded, then it’s got fresh batteries—Trump has sabotaged more bipartisan deals protecting DACA recipients than you can count on one hand. As Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, tweeted following Pence’s remarks: “No one forced Trump to end DACA; the question is whether the way he did it was illegal—every appellate court says yes. Trump can keep DACA in place now or after a ruling.” Even Pence got a whiff of his own bullshit, ending the propaganda briefing immediately after responding to the question on DACA recipients.
Bernal told The Post that the DACA program “let me become a doctor … And it’s letting me treat and care for patients that are facing this deathly pandemic right now. Without DACA, none of it would have been possible.” But without young immigrants like Bernal, some of the lifesaving treatment we’re seeing around the nation wouldn’t be possible either.