Earlier this year, shortly after its term began, the administration issued the executive order (EO) “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which among other provisions, suspended entry into the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya for a 90-day period. The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) strongly opposed that EO, citing its potential chilling effect on the global scientific community and on our mission to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide.
This past Sunday, September 24, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation revising the restrictions and limitations set forth by the previous EO. Per the proclamation, beginning on October 18, entry restrictions and limitations are to be put into effect for the following countries (countries not included in the earlier EO are bolded): Chad, Somalia, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Venezuela’s restrictions are narrower, with the order’s attention focused predominately on government officials and their families, and Sudan is no longer included in the list.
Beyond the countries included in the proclamation, there are a few notable differences between the orders issued in January and September. First, unlike the previous order, which had a specified 90-day time frame, the new restrictions are intended to be indefinite, though a senior administration official referred to them as “conditions- based, not time-based.” The new proclamation also eases restrictions on individuals who hold visas and states that no immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before October 18 will be revoked, though once student or work visas expire, their renewal is not guaranteed. Yet, while there are various exemptions and waivers included within the new text, as was noted in The New York Times, “most [citizens of the countries] will be barred from coming to work, study or vacation in America.”
In the coming months, AADR will we be monitoring this policy’s potential impact on the scientific enterprise (including, but not limited to, faculty and students’ ability to research, teach, or attend international scientific conferences) and take action to safeguard research and champion those who conduct it. Collaboration and the free flow of ideas is core to scientific progress and the advancement of our nation as a whole.
IADR has a global reach, with members and student members from all over the world, including those countries identified above. We remain committed to our diverse membership and will continue to partner with the broader scientific and health care communities in advocating for policies that allow not only our members – but also other students, scientists, and international peers – to partner, study and learn from one another both at home and abroad.