Mr. President, for the Health of Our Nation, Rescind This Order
Please sign this Open Letter in reference to the Executive Order signed initially by President Trump on January 27 and then reissued on March 6. The original order instituted an immediate travel ban on visa-holders from seven predominately Muslim countries. The new one prohibits new visas from being issued to individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days. Both versions included a temporary freeze on the nation’s refugees program and other restrictions.
Dear Mr. President,
As doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, medical students, and above all, healers, we are compelled to speak out against your Executive Order on immigrants and refugees.
The broad order you originally signed has impacted healthcare providers here on legal visas to provide care to our nation’s patients, including many who have specifically come to the United States to fill the primary care physician shortage. Already, a medical intern at the Cleveland Clinic with a valid H-1B visa was forced to leave because her passport was from Sudan. Another Sudanese doctor and member of the Committee of Interns and Residents with a valid H-1B visa was similarly turned away from his home, his hospital, his life, and his patients.
Many more healthcare providers who have come to this country to treat the ill, the infirm, and the survivors of violence and trauma find themselves thrown into uncertainty. Many are separated from their families for an unknown period of time. Many medical students about to graduate — the physicians of the future — are even now applying to medical residency programs without any knowledge of whether the transition from a student visa to a worker visa will allow them to begin practicing in these hospitals or clinics because of the country of their birth.
As much as the front-line providers of the American healthcare system have been affected, so too have our patients. The effects are wide-ranging and endanger the public’s health, the healthcare safety-net, and the fabric of our communities. Your order will pose severe adverse effects for many of our most vulnerable patients, particularly the underserved in health professional shortage areas.
We find these wide-ranging effects incompatible with the values of the medical profession, as well as the values that Americans of all backgrounds hold dear.
Simply put, lives will be put at risk by this action, including those of American citizens.
We respectfully urge you to rescind this order.