Quigley Invites DACA Student at Loyola to be Guest at President Trump’s Joint Address
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) will bring Zarna Patel, a second-year medical student at Loyola University in Chicago and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipient, as his guest to President Trump’s first joint address to Congress.
“Zarna is a passionate, dedicated, and hardworking student dedicating both her medical studies and her life’s work to caring for the underserved communities in the state she calls home,” said Rep. Quigley. “Zarna is also a DREAMer and an immigrant who was brought to American through no fault of her own and simply wants her own shot at the American Dream. Following the hateful and discriminatory words and actions we have seen from this Administration, it is more important now than ever to send a clear message to President Trump at tonight’s address: America is a nation of immigrants, and we will continue to stand with those seeking safety, security, and a better life in our country.”
“My family came to this country to build a stronger future for themselves and their children, and I am forever grateful for their courage and sacrifice that has allowed me to pursue my dream of being a primary care doctor,” said Zarna Patel. “It is my hope that after hearing our stories and seeing who DACA represents, those who doubt our purpose here may come to realize we truly are part of the fabric of our great nation. I thank Congressman Quigley for inviting me to tonight’s address and for his work to advance comprehensive immigration reform that keeps our country safe and strong and lets individuals like me give back to the communities we know and love.”
Since President Obama began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June 2012, it has benefited approximately 750,000 young people, giving them the ability to come out of the shadows. Furthermore, it required them to put their trust in the government, submitting detailed personal information about themselves and their families, including fingerprints, addresses, employment records, and more without fear of civil immigration violation charges. However, the inflammatory rhetoric we’ve seen from President Trump suggests that he could exploit the information DREAMers have provided to the government, in order to deport these hardworking young people.
Zarna Patel moved to the United States from India with her parents when she was three years old. However, through the oddities of the immigration system, she is now the only member of her family who does not have citizenship or permanent residency. During her undergraduate education, she dedicated her time to pediatric cancer patients, the homeless, sexual-assault survivors, and HIV/AIDS awareness. She also volunteered in a clinic for the uninsured, even though she did not qualify for any of the services provided due to her immigration status. Zarna is the recipient of a loan from the Illinois Finance Authority and is looking forward to practicing as a physician in an underserved Illinois community following her residency.