Opinion

Medical school waives admission rules, offers financing to illegals

med-school-400An Illinois university is working in opposition to those who want to curb illegal immigration with a new program to attract students — no matter where they come from or how they got here — to its prestigious medical school.

At a time when we’re trying to come up with a workable solution to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who entered the country illegally, as well as stem the flow of new arrivals, Chicago’s Loyola University is giving one more incentive for them to come, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Loyola is accepting such applicants into its medical school. It’s waiving legal residency requirements and offering them state agency financing to boot.

The school came up with the idea in response to President Obama’s controversial executive order last year that granted temporary legal status to those who arrived here illegally at a young age.

“We didn’t feel it was right to turn away these young people anymore,” Dr. Linda Brubaker, dean of the university’s Stritch School of Medicine said.

At present, financing for undocumented students is available through the Illinois Dream Fund, a state run albeit privately funded program offering scholarships.

Crain’s Claire Bushey notes that at present:

students are not eligible to receive federal financial aid to cover Loyola’s almost $200,000 in tuition and fees for the three-year program. Next month, the Illinois Finance Authority may consider a measure that would allow it to make loans to any of the state’s medical or dental schools, which the schools would then disburse to undocumented students, an IFA spokeswoman said.

Loyola is a private school administered by the Jesuits, and as such, is free to admit whomever it pleases to its programs. In fact, this may be in keeping with its Christian philosophy.

“If a Jesuit Catholic school doesn’t do something like this, who would?” Dr. Brubaker noted.

But what happens after the students graduate?

“They’ll all be M.D.s, but whether or not they can practice legally in states is to be determined,” Geoffrey Young, senior director of student affairs and programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington said. “One must think about what happens downstream.”

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