Republican leaders with jurisdiction over immigration policy are expressing shock at an Obama administration memo detailing plans to bring non-citizen Ebola patients to the United States for treatment.
“It’s alarming that senior Obama Administration officials so vehemently denied the existence of any plans to transport non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment when a leaked State Department document shows that such a proposal indeed exists and was approved by Obama Administration officials,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, this lack of transparency is just another example of the Obama Administration trying to hide its actions from the American people,” he added.
Earlier in the week Fox News obtained an internal Obama administration memo revealing plans to “[c]ome to an agreed State Department position on the extent to which non-U.S. citizens will be admitted to the United States for treatment of Ebola Virus Disease.”
Prior to the revelation of the memo Goodlatte wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking about possible plans to bring Ebola non-citizen patients to the U.S. for treatment.
“Secretaries Kerry and Johnson still have not responded to my letter inquiring about this proposal,” Goodlatte said. “The Obama Administration must be forthcoming with both Congress and the American people about its proposed plans to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with this deadly disease to the United States for medical care.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee also stressed that the Ebola non-citizens patients should not be brought to the U.S. for treatment.
“Federal government health professionals have stated that the best way to fight the Ebola virus from coming to the United States is to stop it at the source. That means in West Africa, not here in U.S. communities,” Grassley said Wednesday. “The Obama administration memo describing possible efforts to skirt the immigration laws and fast track the admission of people with Ebola fails to consider the risk to Americans and adds to the absurd refusal of the President to institute common sense travel restrictions that would better protect the homeland.”
Despite the concerns, the State Department attempted to brush the matter aside Wednesday by claiming that the memo is “weeks old,” according to a Fox News report.
“The document referenced was drafted by a mid-level official but not cleared by senior leaders. It never came to senior officials for approval and any assertion that the memo was cleared by decision makers is inaccurate. There are no plans to medevac non-Americans who become ill with Ebola to the United States,” Fox News quoted State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.