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Immigration ban hurts science, advocacy groups say

AAAS, ACS, and other science supporters push back on Trump immigration policy

by Andrea Widener
October 23, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 42

A recent ban on U.S. immigration from eight countries will weaken the nation’s science and engineering base, a group of science advocacy groups said last week.

In a letter to President Donald J. Trump, over 80 organizations said the ban is already having an impact. “The White House statements and associated policies are discouraging many of the best and brightest international students, scholars, and scientists from choosing the United States as the ideal nation for studying and working, attending academic and scientific conferences, and seeking to build new businesses,” the letter said.

“In fact, we are now seeing visas being denied to scientists wishing to speak at scientific conferences in the United States.”

The letter’s signatories include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, ACS, and other science, engineering, and education groups. ACS publishes C&EN.

On Sept. 24, the Trump Administration issued the most recent in a series of orders banning immigration from several primarily Muslim-majority countries. The most recent ban covers Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

As of C&EN’s deadline, this immigration ban had been struck down by two federal courts that cited religious discrimination, as have several previous legal rulings against the President’s immigration restrictions. The Administration said it will appeal the decision.


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