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Science Groups Battle Back Against Trump Travel Ban

The Trump travel ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries will negatively impact U.S. science interests, state these scientific organizations.

One hundred and fifty-one professional scientific organizations – including some agricultural ones – have signed a letter opposing an executive order issued by President Donald Trump. In the letter, the groups state the executive order that has banned refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries has profound implications for diplomatic, humanitarian, and national security interests, in part, because of the negative impact on U.S. science and engineering capacity.

The letter states that 151 organizations – representing a broad spectrum of professional scientific, engineering, and education societies, national associations, and universities – are concerned the executive order initiating the ban will negatively impact the ability of scientists and engineers in industry and academia to enter, or to leave from and return to, the U.S. The letter states that it reduces U.S. science and engineering output to the detriment of the U.S.  

“Scientific progress depends on openness, transparency, and the free flow of ideas and people, and these principles have helped the United States attract and richly benefit from international scientific talent,” says the letter. “From the Apollo program and exploring the far reaches of the universe, to advancing biomedical research for curing diseases and harnessing science to build a thriving high-tech sector, the United States is considered a leader in science, education, and innovation. In order to remain the world leader in advancing scientific knowledge and innovations, the U.S. science and technology enterprise must continue to capitalize on the international and multicultural environment which it operates within.

“The executive order will discourage many of the best and brightest international students, scholars, engineers, and scientists from studying and working, attending academic and scientific conferences, or seeking to build new businesses in the United States. Implementation of this policy will compromise the United States’ ability to attract international scientific talent and to maintain scientific and economic leadership. Today, we urge the administration to rescind the executive order, and we stand ready to assist you in crafting an immigration and visa policy that advances U.S. prosperity and ensures strong borders while staying true to foundational American principles as a nation of immigrants,” the letter says.

Some agricultural science groups that signed the letter include:
• American Phytopathological Society
• American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
• American Society of Agronomy
• American Society of Animal Science
• Entomological Society of America
• Soil Science Society of America


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