Amid immigration debate, Vanderbilt pediatric cardiologist credits 14th amendment for career

Following President Trump’s recent comments about rescinding birthright citizenship in the U.S., one pediatric cardiologist is speaking out about his own history and career at Vanderbilt—a career, he says, that wouldn’t be possible without the 14th amendment.

Fox 17 correspondent Alex Apple talked to David Parra, MD, a Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital physician whose Ecuadorian parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s. Parra was born into citizenship, but, as Apple said, he “feels the same pride for his country as the children of citizens.”

Five percent of Tennessee’s population is immigrants, and nearly 300,000 children in the state have been born to at least one immigrant parent. As a child of such parents, Parra said he can contribute a different perspective to U.S. culture.

“I think I bring more than just a career,” he told Apple. “Maybe bring that I am from another country, that I can enrich the culture of this community. You think that’s your home and the only home you know, and you think about your parents being from another country, but the United States was always my home.”

Immigrant kids are here, he said, and they’re American, just like him. Parra’s career led him to Vanderbilt, where he works with 3D cardiovascular imaging—“The kind of talent America needs more of,” Apple said.

“David Parra’s parents lived in New York for 14 years and left behind their lives in Ecuador,” he said. “They wanted their son to have a blessed life, but now his work here at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital protecting our most vulnerable has more than paid this country back for the gift of citizenship that it gave to him.”

Find the full story from Fox 17 below: