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Best Evidence Aside: Why Trump’s Executive Order Makes America Less Healthy

What are the health impacts of President Trump’s January 27, 2017, executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and temporarily banning entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen? Even if the President’s constitutional arguments are credible, the order is deeply troubling under international law and humanitarian values. Under the 1967 Refugee Protocol, the United States has assumed a legal obligation to examine the claims of asylum seekers who reach U.S. territory without discrimination based on race, nationality, or religion. Congress has delegated the decision as to how many refugees to accept to the president. Still, the executive order runs contrary to the principle of solidarity—which includes the fair sharing of responsibilities and burdens in accepting endangered individuals. Migrating doctors and nurses fill much of America’s health care resources shortfall. The executive order also undermines science and academia, which depend on the free flow of knowledge and the spread of ideas.

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