Recent Immigration Policies March 14th, 2017
The recent changes in entry to the U.S. by foreign nationals has become a major topic of discussion since Donald Trump placed an executive order limiting entry to certain individuals. These limitations do not affect any European citizens at this time. To see what impact this has on the foreign medical graduate, let’s first summarize who is affected and what happened.
Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 27th, 2017, severely limiting the entry of foreign nationals from seven countries. Within a week, the Judicial branch of the government stated the order was unconstitutional and the order was challenged in the court system.
A revised executive order was signed on March 6, 2017 to mitigate the language from the original. This order limited the entry of foreign nationals into the United States from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, effective March 16, 2017. The ban does not apply to citizens of the six named countries if:
1. The individual has a valid U.S. visa by March 16th, 2017
2. Any individual that is within the U.S. on March 16th, 2017
3. Any lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
4. Any dual national of a country designated in the Executive Order if the
individual is traveling on a passport issued by the non-designated country
5. Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic visa or diplomatic-type visa
6. Any foreign national or refugee who has already been granted asylum
The executive order is recognized by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and they are working closely with immigration organizations and international medical graduates to minimize any deleterious effects this may have on current or future medical trainees. The new revision allows for a case-by-case waiver of the suspension as deemed appropriate by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and/or Department of State, for which the ECFMG believes medical trainees will have acceptable reasons to obtain a waiver.
As mentioned before, this travel ban does not apply to citizens of any European countries. I do not want to get into the ethics of the decision by the administration, although I will discuss the impact I think will have on European foreign medical graduates.
I expect the revision of the executive order to go to court over grounds that it is unconstitutional. Regardless if the order is upheld or not, I would not expect a great deal more legislation or executive orders to further prevent the entry of foreign nationals into the country, especially from European countries with which the U.S. has peaceful relations. Furthermore, students with particular backgrounds or religious preferences (namely Muslim) will not be limited in their travel or work in the U.S. if they are European citizens. Those students that have dual citizenship with one of the six countries mentioned, should travel on their European passport.
Those students that are fearful of discrimination due to their background or religion, should not be overly worried. U.S. citizens, for the most part, remain very open to individuals of varying backgrounds and are not like to judge on ethnicity or religion alone. You will still be very welcome in this country, for now and in the future. This is even more so in the medical community, where most people that have chosen this to be their profession have done so knowing people are people, no matter what their background.