The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) joined leading scientific, engineering, and academic organizations in urging President Trump to rescind the executive order on immigration. The effort was led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and culminated in a letter sent to President Trump on January 31.
“The executive order will discourage many of the best and brightest international students, scholars and scientists from studying and working, attending academic and scientific conferences, or seeking to build new businesses in the United States,” the letter said. “Implementation of this policy will compromise the United States’ ability to attract international scientific talent and maintain scientific and economic leadership.”
FASEB also signed-on to a similar letter coordinated by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The AAMC letter noted, “Because disease knows no geographic boundaries, it is essential that we continue to foster, rather than impede, scientific cooperation with physicians and researchers of all nationalities as we strive to keep our country safe from all threats.”
The Executive Order issued by the Trump administration restricts the ability of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen to enter the U.S. for 90 days while the Departments of State and Homeland Security review existing procedures for issuing visas to individuals from these countries. Syrian citizens are barred from coming to the U.S. indefinitely. The State Department website includes a notice that visa issuance to nationals of the seven countries named in the Executive Order has been “suspended effective immediately until further notification” and advises citizens in those countries not to schedule visa appointments or pay fees at this time. The State Department notice suggests that scientists who are nationals of those countries will not be able to obtain visas to travel to the U.S. and that any visa applications that were pending as of January 27 will not be acted on during the next few months.