Trump’s Immigration Executive Order Misses Mark in a Big Way
To the Editor,
Last month, the Trump Administration issued an executive order suspending several categories of work visa’s through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s order stands to have a negative impact on the American life science industry’s ability to continue to respond holistically to the crisis.
The most immediate issue that must be addressed is that the order does not specify that engineers, scientists and others with expertise in testing and manufacturing are exempt and able to travel to United States. Instead, the order only specifically exempts medical researchers and scientists involved in research to “directly” combat COVID-19.
In the 21st century, our pharmaceutical and medical communities are global. Research and development programs, partner alliances and manufacturing operations are coordinated across borders which means we need flexibility to safely move workers where they can be most effective, especially now.
COVID-19 will not be over for me until there is an effective vaccine distributed at scale, as I live with several chronic conditions. This is my reality and the reality for millions of other patients across the United States. Which is why the administration, at a bare minimum, must expand the order to allow for all necessary members of our medical community to be allowed to come to the United States.
There is simply no excuse to slow down medical progress during a global pandemic where science is our best hope to return to normalcy.