IMANA Statement on the Adverse Impact of President’s Executive Order on Immigration

The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA, est. 1967) represents the largest network of American Muslim Physicians and Allied Health Professional. IMANA is concerned about the adverse impact of President Trump’s Executive Order on the healthcare profession in the US. Foreign-born physicians and other persons working in health care support jobs such as nurses, psychologists, and home health aides represent more than 25% of the workforce caring for US Citizens, according to the Washington DC-based Migration Policy Institute. The absence of even a fraction of these healthcare professionals will have a significant impact on the quality of services provided to American citizens.

A significant number of physicians are in the US on temporary work and exchange visitor visa categories used to admit foreign-born health care workers into the country. Doctors with foreign degrees often apply for a J-1 visa to complete a medical residency in the United States, which is required of most foreign-educated doctors. Doctors may also apply for a temporary visa, such as an H-1B, to complete residency training or to work in the medical field after completing their U.S. residency program. More often than not, these foreign-born physicians work in the under-served and rural populations in the United States, where the impact would be most adversely affected.

“Hospitals and residency training programs should continue to support their medical staff and physicians-in-training, increase diversity training, and offer counsel for their employees who may be affected and/or stressed because of the Executive Orders. The US has a shortage of healthcare professionals, and even a small number of attrition would directly impact patients, who deserve the highest quality of care,” stated Dr. Malik.

Dr. Asif Malik is an Anesthesiologist and currently serves as the President of the Islamic Medical Association of North America.

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