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House Homeland Sec. Cmte Chairs Call for Temporary Suspension of Visas from West Africa

House Homeland Sec. Cmte Chairs Call for Temporary Suspension of Visas from West Africa

House Homeland Security Committee Chairs are urging the Obama administration to temporarily suspend visas from West Africa until the Ebola virus is contained. 

House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), along with Subcommittee Chairs Reps. Peter King (R-NY), Candice Miller (R-MI), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Richard Hudson (R-NC), and Susan Brooks (R-IN), contended that suspending “some of the 13,500 visas would improve the American public’s confidence of public health officials to limit the spread of Ebola to the United States, while simultaneously permitting a robust effort by the U.S. Government and global health agencies to combat this vicious disease in West Africa.” 

In an Oct. 15 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry, the chairs wrote that that “despite the strong public health system in the United States to combat a spread of Ebola, the most recent cases involving the two Dallas health care workers demonstrates the vulnerabilities of our system and steep learning curve public health officials are facing.”

“In light of these current vulnerabilities, we urge you to consider temporarily suspending visas of individuals from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone until the outbreak is under control,” they wrote. “Such a measure would ensure healthcare workers and supplies are able to be transported to impacted areas of West Africa, while also ensuring the public health and safety of the American public.”

Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian immigrant who died last week after becoming the first person on American soil to be diagnosed with Ebola and infecting at least two nurses who were treating him, should never have even received a visa to come to the United States.

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