UChicago dean, faculty address changes in Washington

Dean of the Biological Sciences Division Kenneth Polonsky, MD, recently addressed the White House's executive orders on immigration and the Affordable Care Act on his blog and elsewhere.

In an op-ed in Crain's Chicago Business, Dean Polonsky encouraged Washington to fix the Affordable Care Act rather than repealing it in response to President Trump's January 20, 2017 executive order "instructing federal agencies to 'waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay' any part of the ACA that imposes a financial or regulatory burden."

In his recent Dean's Corner blog, Dean Polonsky addressed the January 20 and January 27 executive orders, the latter more commonly known as the "immigration ban." Acknowledging the great contributions of our faculty, students, and staff who immigrate to the United States, Dean Polonsky says,

We are deeply committed to maintaining a diverse community in which people from many countries with different cultures and religions and with differing points of view can work together to address important issues.  As an immigrant myself, who was allowed to come to the United States because I was fortunate enough to qualify for a green card, I have a deep personal sense of the importance of fair and consistent immigration policies. International graduates play a critical role in U.S. health care, representing approximately 25 percent of the workforce and often caring for patients in rural and underserved urban communities, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Leading-edge biomedical research depends on international scientific cooperation and our ability to attract the best minds from around the world to work in our laboratories and in our clinics.

Assistant professor Sarah Cobey (Ecology and Evolution) has started a website called Banned Scientists in the wake of the order to "document the impact of the immigration ban on U.S. science."

In addition to the individual actions of deans, provosts, professors and students expressing support of immigrants, the University in conjunction with 16 other institutions has filed an amici curiae brief in support of Darweesh et al. vs Trump et al., a lawsuit opposing the January 27 executive order.

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