CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists and AACC International were two of more than 150 scientific and engineering societies, national associations and universities that sent a Jan. 31 letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to rescind a Jan. 27 executive order on visas and immigration.
“The executive order will discourage many of the best and brightest international students, scholars, engineers and scientists from studying and working, attending academic and scientific conferences, or seeking to build new businesses in the United States,” the letter said. “Implementation of this policy will compromise the United States’ ability to attract international scientific talent and maintain scientific and economic leadership.
“Today, we urge the administration to rescind the executive order, and we stand ready to assist you in crafting an immigration and visa policy that advances US prosperity and ensures strong borders while staying true to foundational American principles as a nation of immigrants.”
The letter may be found here.
The executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” blocks immigrants from the seven predominantly Muslim nations of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States for three months. The order also involves blocking certain refugees from entering the United States for 120 days.
“Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States,” the order said. “The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.”
The executive order may be found here.
John Coupland, Ph.D., president of the Chicago-based IFT, and Christie Tarantino Dean, executive vice president and CEO of the IFT, also gave a joint statement.
“Food scientists and technologists contribute to the security of the world’s food supply, and this order will greatly impair these contributions,” the statement said. “To be effective, it is imperative that scientists be free to study, work and share research with colleagues across the globe. Scientific exploration fuels innovation. Without it, progress stagnates.
“The Institute of Food Technologists has members in more than 90 countries, and several reside in the countries specified in this executive order, and thus will be directly impacted. We urge the administration to rescind the executive order and work to craft an immigration policy that recognizes scientific progress is dependent on the sharing of ideas, not the closing of borders.”
The IFT, a non-profit scientific society, has more than 17,000 members. AACC International, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a global, non-profit association of more than 2,000 scientists and food industry professionals. AACC International works to advance the understanding and knowledge of cereal grain science and its product development applications through research, leadership, education, superior technical service and advocacy.