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Internists Urge Withdrawal of Executive Order to Suspend Immigration, Citing Harm to U.S. Health Care
Statement attributable to:
Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians
Washington, DC (June 23, 2020) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is concerned that the executive order that President Trump issued yesterday to suspend immigration in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will have a broad, negative impact on U.S. health care and calls for its immediate withdrawal.
International medical graduates (IMGs) and other non-citizens are critical members of our country’s health care delivery system. We are concerned that the limited exception for physicians, nurses and other health professionals will not ensure that IMGs are able to enter the U.S. for education, training, research and medical care if it is not directly related to COVID-19. A new class of resident physicians are scheduled to begin their training in a little more than a week, including many IMGs who are poised to arrive in the U.S. and begin treating patients.
The order could additionally hinder the ability of other scientists to enter the U.S. for teaching, research, public health collaboration and other essential activities. It would also restrict their family members from entering the U.S., placing undue stress on them at an already impossibly stressful time.
We urge the administration to withdraw this order and instead shift their focus to evidence-based efforts that can help us to mitigate the impact and spread of this virus. If the administration declines to withdraw the order, Congress should enact legislation to stop it from going into effect. Now is the time to be focusing on increasing our health system’s capacity and supporting physicians and other health care professionals.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 159,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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