Graduate Program in Human Genetics Issues Statement on Travel Ban to US

The Sarah Lawrence College Graduate Program in Human Genetics has issued the following statement on the travel ban to the US:

We, the students and faculty who represent the genetic counseling program at Sarah Lawrence College, recognize as genetics professionals that, in our program as in our gene pool, diversity is strength and insularity is weakness. Because of our commitment to our patients, to our field, and to one another, we stand against the recent executive order that has banned travel to the United States based on country of origin. This ban, narrow-minded and short-sighted, will serve to drive away exactly the sort of talent and energy that have made our country a magnet for successful and visionary individuals in the sciences for generations.

Sarah Lawrence College has expressed its intention to vigorously defend the rights and safety of all students, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics appreciates this strong statement of support for our students. We stand with them, and with all our colleagues in academic and clinical settings whose lives have been affected.

As medical professionals, we affirm the rights of all individuals to be treated with care and compassion. As genetic counselors, we carry with us the institutional memory of the great harms that were inflicted by state-sponsored initiatives singling out individuals based on race, religion, or ethnicity. The field of genetic counseling was born at Sarah Lawrence in 1969, and from its inception until today, our program has incorporated a fierce determination to safeguard all individuals from abuses rooted in fear, ignorance, and bigotry.

The impact of this policy on vulnerable individuals is heartbreaking and deserves condemnation. But everyone, and not only those who seek to come here out of need, are put at risk by policies that limit the vibrancy of our educational, research, and clinical communities. Science today is a global exercise, drawing on work and expertise from around the world. To opt out of our role as a beacon for refugees and scholars alike is to willfully renounce the primacy of our place in the world of science and technology, and all the benefits thereof. At Sarah Lawrence, we believe that we owe it to our patients, present, and future, to fight for the inclusive, informed, and forward-looking culture that fuels the advancement of medical care.


About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.