By Sumbul Siddiqui
My parents immigrated to the United States when I was 4 years old, hoping to give their children a better life. I was raised in Georgia with my three younger siblings, two of whom were born here. Georgia has a policy called 287(g), in which some counties are proud to work together with ICE agents to detain immigrants.
My first encounter with ICE officers was probably when I was 14 years old, just about to enter the 9th grade. I remember this moment very well, because the night before I had watched this scary movie called Saw. So, I was terrified that someone was going to kidnap me. I checked my closet and slept with the lights on that night. No one came for me, but my mom was taken. Two ICE officers entered our home that morning. I only heard bits and pieces because my mom had closed my bedroom door and told me to go back to sleep. Eavesdropping, I heard them tell my mom to go with them, and she would return back to her family soon. That took 3 months. She was taken to the Atlanta Detention Center, and then transferred to an Alabama detention center.
I don’t remember much of what happened during that time, but I do remember visiting my mom in the Atlanta Detention Center. We were only allowed to see her for a brief moment. She was wearing an orange jumpsuit – crying. Her handcuffs were taken off so she could talk to us through the glass window. I told her that everything was going to be okay even though I had no idea what was going on – or really, a clue about our immigration system. When my mom returned, I started high school, and I didn’t think much about immigration again.
Fast forward to my sophomore year in college. They come for my dad. Within just a few months, they come for my brother. My dad was gone for 2 years, and my brother was gone for 7 months. They were both in two different detention centers. Sometimes, I had to figure out who to visit – whether I would drive an hour up from Atlanta to see my father or 3 hours down to see my brother.Read More »
By Sunny Nakae
In May the Stritch alumni magazine published a cover feature article about our first cohort of DACA recipients admitted to the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and their impending graduation. We received both positive and negative correspondence about this feature. What follows is a compilation of complaints I received from some alumni and a summary of the responses I offered.
“As an alum I am disappointed in your policy to admit DACA recipients over US citizens. Because you are admitting non-US citizens that means a US citizen will not get a seat. Supporting undocumented students violates Federal Law. Did these DACA recipients get ‘affirmative action’ status? Candidates should get admitted because of their credentials, not because they are minorities or immigrants. What constitutes the right minority? It seems like Japanese, Korean and Chinese are no longer considered minorities but smaller Asian groups like Hmong are? In my graduating class there are many of us who will no longer be supporting the school.”
Dear Stritch Alum,
Thank you, sincerely, for expressing your current views on our decision to accept MD applications from DACA recipients. This happened in 2012 with the support of our then dean, Dr. Linda Brubaker, and our then president, Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J The inclusion of DACA recipients continues to receive full support from our current dean, Dr. Steven Goldstein, and our president, Dr. JoAnn Rooney. It seems from your email that you might not have all of the facts for the situation, so I would like to open a dialogue and provide those facts for you and any colleagues with whom you wish to share this information. I understand that at first glance this decision may appear to disenfranchise other applicants, specifically those of Asian descent or US citizens. Read More »
By Suzanne Minor
At this year’s Southern Group on Educational Affairs conference, the University of Mississippi hosted an outing at the Two Mississippi Museums, consisting of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
I focused my visit on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. It was exhausting, difficult, heart-wrenching, and, in the end, hopeful. Growing up in rural Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, I witnessed legalized segregation through small private schools and experienced rampant racism as the norm. Thankfully, college and medical school broadened my perspective, particularly gross anatomy. Once without skin, all of those black and white cadavers looked so similar. Not better than or less than, but equal in skinless death. I dove into former slave narratives, reading Frederick Douglas and trying to reconcile the message from my upbringing – that I was better than because I was white – with my new learning in gross anatomy and in my direct experience with people who looked different than me. I was learning that we were all just human, no better and no worse than each other. My professional career has been dedicated to attending to the medical and holistic needs of the underserved communities of Miami, Florida, a diverse area in which I’m in the minority.
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By Cesar Montelongo
(These remarks were delivered at a rally of the Stritch School of Medicine student to support their DACA recipient colleagues on September 6, 2017.)
My name is Cesar, I am a DACA recipient and a third year student in the Loyola MD-PhD program, training to be a physician and a scientist.
In 2011 I graduated college with three degrees, two minors, and honors. Months prior to my graduation, the Dream Act failed to pass in Congress. This was a life changing event: Had the Dream Act passed, I could have applied to medical school. Instead I was left stranded, unable to exercise my college degrees, much less attend medical school. For over a year I struggled, my only hope being that some unforeseen chance would appear…Read More »
By Joe Burns
The elderly female patient was a frequent visitor of the dermatology clinic. Her physician had provided routine care for her, removing suspicious spots for decades. Today she was presenting for an exacerbation of her psoriasis. We entered the room and the patient was visibly distraught. She was wearing a wrinkled t-shirt and old jeans, a stark contrast to her usual Southern Lilly Pulitzer dresses. As we began taking her history, she broke down, bawling over her psoriasis…
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