The CLS denounces the decision by the Trump Administration to freeze through 2020 important U.S. visa programs that allow future scientists from around the world to come to the United States. This Executive Order (EO), along with previous immigration bans, will harm our nation’s economic and scientific competitiveness
On June 22, President Trump signed an EO that will suspend the issuance of certain visas through the end of 2020. The EO applies to H-1B, H-2B, H-4 visas, L-1 visas, and certain J-1 visas. This will have a devastating impact on our nation’s economic and scientific competitiveness. Universities and research institutions across the country will feel the impact of this EO most acutely. The life science research community has always depended on the contributions of scientists from other nations. These contributions range from long-time collaborations with colleagues abroad to trainees from other nations who come here to join our labs to learn from the best in the world. Very often, these trainees stay after they complete their training to join the American science community and their contributions help the United States remain the world’s scientific leader.
As we deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our nation’s economy, America must ensure that we continue to attract the world’s brightest and best researchers, innovators, and scientists to drive scientific discovery. The H1-B, J-1, and H-4 visa programs that today’s executive order curtails have long allowed bright, hard-working individuals to come to America and contribute to our nation’s educational endeavors and scientific innovation. Depriving our nation of talent threatens, rather than safeguards, our nation’s health and economic security.