Admissions officers across the country have been discussing the ramifications of the president's order, said Geoffrey Young, senior director of student affairs and programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington.
Private schools like Loyola may have more flexibility in granting admission to undocumented students than public universities, he said. Moreover, state licensing requirements could bar undocumented graduates from practicing medicine.
“They'll all be M.D.s, but whether or not they can practice legally in states is to be determined,” Mr. Young said. “One must think about what happens downstream.”
In Illinois, state regulators are barred from asking medical license applicants whether they are legal residents, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said. Though applicants must provide a Social Security number to prove they don't owe child support payments, they can wait to do so until they renew their license for the first time.
But Ms. Brubaker said that prior to the executive order, the school didn't admit undocumented students because they lacked the legal immigration status to obtain a medical residency. She said the executive order was a turning point because it removed that obstacle.
The school's decision also is in keeping with the institution's religious principles that call for social justice. “If a Jesuit Catholic school doesn't do something like this, who would?” Ms. Brubaker said.
The program has the potential to attract not only students but new donors who support immigration issues. It also will add to the supply of doctors that will be needed after major components of the federal healthcare overhaul take effect. Mostly, though, it gives undocumented students who want to become doctors the chance to do so.
“A door that was closed is now open,” Ms. Cabrera said.
"Loyola med school to admit undocumented students" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.