Keck DACA Statement
Dear Current and Prospective Members of the Keck School of Medicine Community,
The administration at the Keck School of Medicine would like to take this opportunity to echo the sentiments in USC President Nikias’ letter about DACA, as well as provide some context to the unique situation we are in as a medical school. The Keck School of Medicine is in full support of the members of our community who are harmed by the DACA decision. We acknowledge that this is a very difficult time for those who are personally affected by the uncertainty of upcoming legislative changes, and we would like to remind students and faculty that mental health services are available at the Eric Cohen Student Health Center.
Keck has a history of accepting undocumented students into its M.D. program, even prior to the implementation of DACA in 2012, and we will continue to offer opportunities for undocumented students to attend our institution. These students are evaluated by our admissions committee through the same processes as documented students, and given equal opportunities for admission. Unfortunately, funding is very difficult to come by for these students, as they are not eligible for federal financial aid. The Office of Development has made some efforts to find sources of gift aid, but at this point in time there is no sustainable funding. Additionally, undocumented students also face the possibility of being unable to apply for residency. Without DACA-or a similar legislative solution-undocumented medical students are unable to submit an ERAS application, are then unable to enter a residency program, and subsequently may never obtain a medical license. These barriers impose unfair and unreasonable decisions on current and future medical students and residents. Therefore, we strongly urge the White House and Congress to provide a pathway that will ensure their success as future physicians. We ask the Keck community to join us in this fight because we firmly believe that every individual deserves the same opportunities to become a member of the Trojan Family and a caring, compassionate physician.
Laura Mosqueda, M.D., Dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Raquel Arias, M.D., Dean of Admissions
The Students of LMSA and Protect Our Patients