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Policy

Scientists push back against Trump administration’s proposed visa rules

by Andrea Widener
June 3, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 23

 

The Donald J. Trump administration has proposed several new visa restrictions that scientists say would have a chilling effect on scientific exchange and hurt the country’s competitiveness. The proposals are aimed at improving national security, the administration says. On May 24, 56 scientific organizations, including the American Chemical Society, sent a letter to the U.S. State Department expressing concern about its proposal to collect more information about visa applicants, including social media history. They say the plan would hinder international travel for students and conference attendees. ACS also sent its own separate letter of concern. In late May, news reports emerged that the State Department will only allow a one-year visa for Chinese graduate students working in some sensitive research areas. The Association of Public & Land-grant Universities urged the administration to keep any restrictions focused as narrowly as possible: “Our nation’s policies should aim to attract and retain top foreign students who will come here to make discoveries, pioneer innovations, and go on to start businesses that create U.S. jobs.”

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