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Blog / 01.30.17

Message to the Broad Institute Community Regarding the Executive Order on Immigration

By Editor
In response to President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration, Broad Institute president and director Eric Lander, along with the Executive Leadership Team sent the following message to the Broad community.

Dear Broadies:

On behalf of the Broad’s executive leadership team, I am writing concerning President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration targeting Muslims and refugees. Many of you are deeply worried and disturbed by this development, and so are we.

We have all witnessed significant upheaval resulting from the order, which bars individuals from entering the United States based on their religion and country of origin. Some Broadies are directly affected because of who they are or what they believe. Many have also been participating in protests today.

On Friday, a few hours before the order was signed, we reached out to members of our international community who might be impacted by the executive order. We let them know that the immigration team in HR at the Broad is ready to help should they need it, and that we will stand with them.
 
We appreciate and respect that members of the Broad community have diverse views on both politics and policies. We take no position on politics. But, when policies are in serious conflict with our core values, we have a duty to speak out.
 
The Broad Institute vigorously opposes the executive order, because it repudiates our deeply held values about human dignity and because it unjustly targets valued members of our community. We stand by these colleagues.
 
It is wrong to target people based on their religion, as this policy clearly does. Doing so violates America’s core values, enshrined in our Constitution. It also appears to violate American law.
 
It is wrong to slam the door on refugees. Righteous people have a moral obligation to help those fleeing danger.
 
It is wrong to target our colleagues, friends and neighbors, who are in this nation legally as holders of green cards and valid visas and who contribute so much to our Broad community and to our society.
 
It is wrong because the policy is unlikely to make our country significantly safer and, instead, is likely to endanger it. To be clear: We fully appreciate the dangers of terrorism and the importance of defending the nation from it. We fully support thoughtful and effective efforts to prevent terrorism. But, by targeting Muslims, the ban is likely to turn people against America. It will likely lead to increased threats from abroad, from individuals unaffected by the ban, and at home, from those who may be radicalized over the internet.
 
It is wrong because our country has benefited tremendously by training students and others who return to their home countries with a knowledge of American people, values and culture. Such understanding has proved critical in enabling communications during times of international tension, including among scientists during the Cold War.
 
It is wrong because the policy turns its back on one of America’s greatest sources of strength: the flow of visitors, immigrants and refugees who have enriched our nation with their ideas, dreams, drive, energy, and entrepreneurship. Immigrants and visitors have made up a disproportionate share of America's scientists, engineers, university faculty, Nobel laureates, and founders of start-ups. Refugees have played a central role in defending America, including inventing our atomic arsenal during World War II.
 
It is wrong because it undermines our nation’s moral authority. America is the best empirical demonstration of the enormous positive power of open, inclusive, and diverse societies. If we forsake our moral standing as a beacon to the world, others will step in to take our place. We will ultimately be poorer and less secure.
 
The Broad Institute believes strongly that a diverse and inclusive community is essential to achieve our scientific mission. In consultation with our partner institutions, we will take all steps we can to support our colleagues who are affected by this policy. Andy Porter is leading our internal efforts to provide day-to-day support to Broadies who may be directly affected.
 
Broad’s leadership team is also exploring what actions we can take to promote the withdrawal of this policy.
 
Today we say in solidarity: “We are all Muslims now.” “We are all refugees now.”

Sincerely,

Eric Lander and the Broad’s Executive Leadership Team