Executive Action Banning Travel, No; Granting Amnesty, Maybe!

Published on October 17th, 2014

By Joe Guzzardi
October 17, 2014

Among Americans, there’s a waning confidence in government that’s made it difficult for the administration to sell its “what, me worry?” approach to Ebola. Essentially, few believe anything that President Obama, White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, National Security Director Susan Rice or Center for Disease Control director Tom Frieden say when they insist to the public that everything is under control.

While the Obama administration may be right that America doesn’t face a major health risk, the way it’s handled Ebola is nothing short of shameful. At a rock bottom minimum, Americans deserve to have their best interests protected, something the administration hasn’t done. So far, even talking common sense is beyond the White House. Americans want travel banned from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Instead, Obama proposes an Ebola Czar. Nearly 30 African countries including Kenya have imposed restrictions, but somehow the U.S. cannot.

Then, adding insult to injury, Obama repeatedly insists that a travel ban would exacerbate the spread of Ebola because the porous African borders would lead to its nationals lying to get into the U.S. and thereby avoid the hit and miss airport screening. Note that Obama is talking about Africa’s borders and not those of the U.S. which thousands of aliens cross daily with impunity and without federal intervention. Obama has also advanced the curious argument that travel routes must remain open so that medical supplies could be shipped to Africa, implying that Army planes or charter flights couldn’t serve the same function.

Despite obstinate White House resistance to the obvious need to restrict travel from infected West African countries, Congress is fighting back. House Speaker John Boehner along with 40 others in Congress including 3 Democrats has demanded a travel hiatus until the Ebola virus is controlled. In his October 15 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce said restricting travel is reasonable and a containment measure that may help mitigate the risk of Ebola’s further translocation to the U.S. while not impeding America’s response to the epidemic. In a separate statement, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-PA, a medical doctor who chairs the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and has served in Congress since 2003, called for the same restrictions that Royce proposed.

Dr. David Samadi, chief of robotic surgery at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, urges that the ban be instated before November 15. After that date, the flu season will begin, high temperatures will be common and could frighten people into mistakenly thinking they have Ebola. That would put an additional strain on the already understaffed and undertrained hospital personnel.

Then, there’s the enormous visa problem. The State Department handles about 100 daily petitions for visas every week from nationals in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. For those naïve enough to think that Ebola can be easily contained, remember that once visa holders reach the U.S., they disperse throughout the country. The feds have no idea where they go, where they are or how to find them.

No nation has the right to expose its citizens to a health crisis regardless of what its leader’s political agenda may be or how dire circumstances are abroad. Earlier in the year, the Obama-administration encouraged a border surge that included dozens of Central Americans with tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

Ebola has ratcheted up the health risk to Americans, a tragic development that, with political will, could end by an executive order to ban travel from impacted African nations. The White House, however, is mum on that. On the other hand, Obama has promised to use an executive directive to grant amnesty to at least 5 million unlawful aliens.


Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]

You are donating to :

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note