31 January 2017

AAS Joins Call for President to Rescind Executive Order

Richard Fienberg, AAS Press Officer

This post is adapted from a press release issued by the AAS:

The AAS has joined with 150 other scientific and engineering societies, national associations, and universities to send a letter to President Donald J. Trump¹ objecting to his January 27th executive order on visas and immigration. It expresses deep concern that the restrictions the new policy imposes “will have a negative impact on the ability of scientists and engineers in industry and academia to enter, or leave from and return to, the United States. This will reduce US science and engineering output to the detriment of America and Americans.”

The letter was drafted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific organization. The signatory professional societies together represent millions of scientists and engineers across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

“Our nation has a history of embracing refugees and immigrants from across the planet,” says AAS Executive Officer Kevin B. Marvel. “This openness has led to our success in the past, and it will lead to our success in the future. Closing our borders to people from certain countries and certain ethnic or religious backgrounds recalls some of our darkest days and goes against our national principles.”

“In order to remain the world leader in advancing scientific knowledge and innovations,” reads the letter, “the US science and technology enterprise must continue to capitalize on the international and multicultural environment within which it operates.”

The letter concludes with this offer to the president: “We stand ready to assist you in crafting an immigration and visa policy that advances US prosperity and ensures strong borders while staying true to foundational American principles as a nation of immigrants.”

¹Copies of the letter were also sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.