If doctors in the U.S. on visas get the virus or worst while fighting COVID-19, their families could face deportation

Local News

Some front line workers have more concerns than just catching the virus during the pandemic.

Muddasir Ashraf is a doctor at Unity Point.

He is like many other foreign doctors across the country, who are here in the U.S. on a temporary visa.

He says with rising infections, and deaths during the pandemic he constantly thinks about the possibility that he could become sick. Or worse, because of exposure to the virus on the job.

He, and his family have been living in Bettendorf for the past decade.

“This has been our home for the last 10 years,” says Ashraf.

He sees about four sick patients with COVID-19 on a typical shift.

“We try to see an equal number of COVID patients everyday, so that one physician is not exposed to a lot of patients,” says Ashraf.

So when he gets up to go to work, like most doctors he has concerns he could become infected with virus, and carry it home to his family.

Unlike most other U.S health providers that’s not his only fear.

Dr. Ashraf is one of many physicians in the country on a temporary H-1B visa. While they wait years in line to become permanent residents. Theirs visas are tied to their employment meaning that if a prolonged illness costs them their job, even temporarily, or worst their life, they and their family could face deportation.

“I think about it everyday. My family is the most important thing for me, and I’m not worried about my life. But unfortunately if I lose my life it affects my family significantly my kids family is depending on it,” says Ashraf.

He says the change would have to start with legislation.

“We urging the Senators, and House of Representatives to please look into this matter,” says Ashraf.

Dr. Ashraf urges residents to call their local senator to help with the legislation. .

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