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Dear Colleagues,

 

Nancy J. Cox

I want to share with you my thoughts on the new immigration restrictions being imposed by the new Administration in the United States. I have been watching developments closely since President Trump signed the first Executive Order in January with a view to determining what it will mean for the Society and its members. Yesterday, President Trump signed a new Executive Order revising the restrictions on travel to the United States, and it appears that the situation with respect to these new restrictions is likely to continue to evolve for some time. However, what is already clear is that such restrictions threaten to have a serious impact on the genetics community and the broader scientific community.

 

Diversity is at the very heart of our science, and our membership includes many international scholars at all career levels who are integral members of our community. The freedom to travel internationally is essential for performing research across the world, sharing research findings at meetings, and establishing collaborations. It is critical for advancing genetics research and its clinical application, and ASHG opposes policies that unduly hinder our community in crossing international borders.

 

As we consider how ASHG can best respond to these developments, the Society would like to hear from members whose personal lives, careers, and workplaces are affected by the travel restrictions. For instance, we would like to know if the restrictions will prevent you from attending this year’s ASHG Annual Meeting in Orlando, or traveling to the U.S. to assume a new position in a research lab. Similarly, we want to hear from you if you are unable to travel to attend a funeral, wedding, graduation, or similar event for fear you will not be permitted back into the U.S. You can write to us at policy@ashg.org. We greatly respect your privacy and will not share any information you share with us without your express permission.

Thank you all for considering this request, and we will keep in touch about the need for further efforts as we better understand the scope of the problem and how the courts are deciding the legal issues around the order. 

 

Nancy J. Cox Signature

 

Nancy J. Cox
President, ASHG

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The American Society of Human Genetics
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