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Of Particular Significance

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

30 Jan 2017, 13:27 UTC
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The cost to American science and healthcare of the administration’s attack on legal immigration is hard to quantify. Maybe it will prevent a terrorist attack, though that’s hard to say. What is certain is that American faculty are suddenly no longer able to hire the best researchers from the seven countries currently affected by the ban. Numerous top scientists suddenly cannot travel here to share their work with American colleagues; or if already working here, cannot now travel abroad to learn from experts elsewhere… not to mention visiting their families. Those caught outside the country cannot return, hurting the American laboratories where they are employed.
You might ask what the big deal is; it’s only seven countries, and the ban is temporary. Well (even ignoring the outsized role of Iran, whose many immigrant engineers and scientists are here because they dislike the ayatollahs and their alternative facts), the impact extends far beyond these seven.
The administration’s tactics are chilling. Scientists from certain countries now fear that one morning they will discover their country has joined the seven, so that they too cannot hope to enter or exit the United States. They will decide now to turn down invitations to work ...

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