Executive Actions Restricting Entry to the United States: Impact on Medical Education, Research, and Patient Care

The Issue

The executive actions regarding immigration have created widespread concern about how the changes in processes will affect the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to deliver patient care, provide health education, and support medical research. The AAMC and its member institutions are dedicated to promoting a diverse and culturally competent health and biomedical workforce—at home and abroad—that supports improvements in health care, access to providers, breakthroughs in medical research, and equitable health for all patients regardless of their backgrounds.

The Solution

The AAMC supports a balanced approach to immigration policy that attracts the best and brightest from around the world—especially in healthcare and science—that advances U.S. interests through educational and cultural exchange, and assures the nation’s security.

Because disease knows no geographic boundaries, it is essential that we continue to foster, rather than impede, scientific cooperation with clinicians and researchers of all nationalities as we strive to keep our country safe from all threats. The AAMC has urged the administration to consider the potential impact of changes to immigration processes on the health of the nation and to avoid unnecessarily undermining our ability to fulfill our missions of creating a diverse and culturally competent workforce, supporting improvements in health care, access to providers, breakthroughs in medical research, and equitable health for all patients regardless of their backgrounds.

In June, the AAMC led 21 other health-related organizations in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing against a stay of the district court injunctions related to the executive order issued in January 2017 and the revision issued in March 2017. The brief outlined the potential impact on the nation’s health care and research workforce if the travel ban was reinstated. In September, joined by 30 organizations representing a range of health professional education and practice groups, the AAMC submitted an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to maintain the injunctions against implementation of those orders.

As the proclamation issued in September 2017 will likely result in barriers to entry for highly-skilled physicians and scientists, we continue to urge the administration, to make categorical exceptions for medical students, medical residents, physicians, and scientists as well as those attending medical and scientific conferences in the United States. We have also offered our assistance in developing measured immigration policies that reflect the health care needs of the nation.

Resources

AAMC Statement on President Trump's Immigration Proclamation (September 25, 2017)
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued a statement regarding President Trump’s proclamation on immigration:

AAMC Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court on Merits of Travel Ban (September 18, 2017)
AAMC, joined by 30 organizations representing a range of health professional education and practice groups, submitted an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to maintain the injunctions against implementation of Executive Order 13780, which barred individuals from certain countries from entering the United States.

AAMC Submits Amicus Brief in Response to Administration’s Request for Stay in Travel Ban Cases (June 12, 2017)
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued a statement regarding the association’s submission of an amicus brief in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. State of Hawai’i.

AAMC Amicus Brief in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. State of Hawai’i (June 12, 2017)
The AAMC led 21 other health-related organizations in filing an amicus brief in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. State of Hawai’i arguing against a stay of the district court injunctions related to the administration’s travel ban. The brief outlined the importance of health professionals and researchers from other countries in securing the health security of our nation. 

AAMC Statement on President Trump's Revised Executive Order on Immigration (March 6, 2017)
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued a statement regarding President Trump’s revised executive order on immigration.

Executive Order on Immigration Threatens Our Nation’s Health SecurityAAMCNews
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, discusses the impact of the executive order on health care and the health workforce.

AAMC-led Joint Letter on President Trump's Executive Order (February 1, 2017)
The AAMC led more than 50 organizations in a joint letter expressing deep concern that the January 27 executive order restricting the admission of certain foreign nationals and refugees to the United States will disrupt patient care, health education, and medical research.

Community Letter to President Trump Regarding Executive Order on Visas and Immigration (January 31, 2017)
A community sign-on letter organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to President Trump, expressing concern about the White House Executive Order on visas and immigration.

Joint Higher Education Community Letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (January 31, 2017)
50 higher education associations, including the AAMC, signed on to a letter organized by the American Council on Education (ACE).

AAMC Statement on President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration (January 30, 2017)
AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued a statement regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Refugee Health Clinics Help New Arrivals, Provide Training Ground for Students and ResidentsAAMCNews
Several medical schools and teaching hospitals have reached out to help refugees who arrived with health needs but limited options for care.

Answers to Our Members Frequently Asked Questions