Should immigrant healthcare workers receive a special immigration benefit due to their efforts in fighting the coronavirus. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri and the answer to this question is yes.
Now this was not a question that was posed to us by a listener or viewer of our videos or a subscriber to our email channel. But this is a question that should be asked. We have in the past given immigration benefits a fast track to citizenship to people who join the US military and fight for our country overseas.
Well, I'm taking the position that we should do the same thing right now for immigrant healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, people working in the hospital who are immigrants and who may be in varying degrees of immigration status.
There might be people who are working who are undocumented. There might be people who are on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA program. There might be green card holders, there might be people who are on a J1 visa and are taking care of medical needs for American citizens on the front lines of this war as the president has called it on a silent enemy, the coronavirus and I believe with all my heart that if people are putting themselves out on the line, that if their immigration status is questionable or shaky or anything short of a citizenship, that they should be put on a fast track to citizenship.
Now this is at the moment just my idea. We haven't seen any kind of push in Congress. But there should be a push in Congress and there should be a push to make life easier.
Now we, Amany and I were on a walk yesterday and when we came home we ran into a friend of ours. So our neighbors two houses over are both physicians. Our friend Tara is a pediatric emergency room physician here in St. Louis and her husband Phil is an anesthesiologist in St. Louis County and of course they're working overtime these days and we talked to Tara about what's going on and about how some of her colleagues have gotten sick, how she's had to sort of self quarantine at times.
She's healthy, knock on wood, at the moment and we hope she stays that way as we do for all physicians and of course she and Phil are both US citizens and so it got me thinking that if someone is in the United States and they are literally doing their very, very best and putting their lives at risk to save American citizens and to save everybody who comes into the hospital from this dreaded disease, that we should really give something back to them, that we should really do what we can to help these people.
Now, a couple of weeks ago, we saw a notice go out that the embassies were going to start easing restrictions on foreign physicians and coming to the United States and there was a little bit of a hoopla about this. But it's all bogus because of course most embassies are closed and I think that it was just political spin more than anything else.
But this is something that we should really be thinking about. We need more doctors here. We need more nurses here and we need more help in our healthcare system. So I hope that there's a movement that begins either during this virus crisis or after that would push towards allowing immigrant physicians to get on a fast track to citizenship and that would also trickle down to nurses and other healthcare professionals.
So if you think this is a good idea, give me a like down below. Shoot me a message or leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
Don't forget too that we have our coronavirus special report for immigrants. If you're having questions about that, you can download it. We'll put the link down below and if you need any help or have any questions, give us a call. (314) 961-8200.
We're just immigration lawyers and so I feel guilty sometimes that we're not out there doing everything we can like these physicians are. But the least we can do is use our voice to speak up for them. If you have questions, you can email us at [email protected]. You can find us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We have lots of good information and daily updates in there about immigration changes. If you liked this video, we ask that you please subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on LinkedIn and share it out on social so that the word gets spread. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.