On Tuesday, biotech and pharmaceutical companies urged president Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to end former president Barack Obama’s policy protecting undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.
Attorney general Jeff Sessions said Tuesday morning that Trump would move to halt the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months, unless Congress moves to protect it. The president & CEO of Decibel Therapeutics, Steven Holtzman, and the president & CEO of Ovid Therapeutics, Jeremy Levin, called on the president to “reverse your decision” in a letter that has since received add-on signatures from folks like the CEO of Biogen (NSDQ:BIIB), Michel Vounatsos.
“Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation. Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions,” the letter said.
“Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”
Others that signed on to the letter include Bigfoot Biomedical president & CEO, Jeffrey Brewer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals(NSDQ:ALNY) CEO, John Maraganore, Acorda Therapeutics (NSDQ:ACOR) CEO, Ron Cohen, and many more.
The president also received a scolding from Allergan CEO, Brent Saunders, who took to Twitter yesterday to push Congress on the issue.
“Let’s move past exec orders. Congress please act on immigration reform to protect those who have done no wrong & keep our labor pool strong,” he wrote.
One of the first biopharma players to come out against the president’s decision was Juno Therapeutics (NSDQ:JUNO) CEO, Hans Bishop, who joined a number of other executives, including Facebook’s founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in signing a letter to the administration.