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  • Washington Highlights

    Academic Medicine Responds to Immigration Executive Order

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs

    President Trump Jan. 27 signed an executive order titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The executive order suspends for 90 days (i.e., until April 27, 2017) the “immigrant and nonimmigrant entry” of aliens “from” Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, or those who have traveled to such countries on or after March 1, 2011.

    In a Jan. 30 statement, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, reiterated, “The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are dedicated to promoting a diverse and culturally competent health and biomedical workforce that supports improvements in health care, breakthroughs in medical research, and, ultimately, improved and equitable health for all patients.”

    The AAMC also coordinated a Feb. 1 joint letter on behalf of more than 50 national organizations that “are deeply concerned that the January 27 executive order restricting the admission of certain foreign nationals and refugees to the United States will disrupt patient care, health education, and medical research.”

    Additionally, the AAMC joined two separate letters from 164 scientific associations organized by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and 50 higher education associations organized by the American Council on Education (ACE).

    As of Jan. 27, the State Department suspended visa issuance to nationals of these seven countries. The executive order also addresses the adjudication of “other immigration benefits,” (e.g., renewals, change of status, waiver programs) and directs related agencies to implement a program for additional screening in connection with applications for such benefits.

    AAMC, along with partners at other organizations including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), has prepared additional guidance for AAMC members and will continue to monitor the issue.