Durbin Meets With Undocumented Medical Student Who Will Be His Guest For President Trump’s Address

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, today met with Illinois DREAMer Aaima Sayed, who will be his guest for President Donald Trump’s address to a Joint Session of Congress. Aaima, who has temporary legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, is a third-year medical student at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago.
“Our country is stronger thanks to the contributions of Dreamers like Aaima, who wish only to be given a chance to continue contributing to the country they call home. Would the United States be better off if Aaima is deported to Pakistan, where she hasn’t lived since she was a toddler, instead of using her talent as a physician to help low-income Americans? The answer is clear,” said Durbin. “I am honored to host this gifted young medical student as my guest. I hope her presence reminds President Trump what’s at stake in the debate over DACA: the lives of more than 750,000 innocent young people and the wellbeing of entire communities.”

“DACA gave me a sense of security about my future that allowed me to focus on my goal of becoming a doctor. Today, DREAMers face new obstacles, but I remain hopeful that, with the support of allies like Senator Durbin, we will continue to contribute to the United States,” said Aaima Sayed. “I thank Senator Durbin for giving me the opportunity to represent the thousands of DREAMers who are determined to work for a permanent place in the only country we call home.”

Photos of Senator Durbin’s meeting with Aaima are available here.

Earlier this year, Senator Durbin reintroduced the BRIDGE Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure that DREAMers remain protected from deportation under the Trump Administration. Like DACA, the BRIDGE Act would offer temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Aaima Sayed
Aaima Sayed, an American-Muslim Dreamer, was brought to the United States from Pakistan when she was 3 years old. She graduated in the top ten percent of her high school class and graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University. Aaima scored in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Shortly after Aaima graduated, President Obama announced the DACA program. Thanks to DACA, Aaima is now in her third year at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, the first medical school in the country to welcome DACA recipients. After she graduates next year, Aaima has committed to work in a medically-underserved community in Illinois.
In 2015, Senator Durbin told Aaima’s story on the Senate floor.