Politics & Government

Rep. Trey Gowdy implores Obama for an Ebola-related travel ban

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., joined a growing chorus of congressional lawmakers Thursday to urge President Barack Obama to implement a travel ban on foreign nationals attempting to enter the United States from countries where the Ebola virus is prevalent.

Gowdy, chair of the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chair of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Obama pushing him to use a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act to issue the ban.

‘You utilized this provision in August 2011, to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain persons who participated in serious human rights and humanitarian law violations,’ Gowdy and Goodlatte wrote. ‘Preventing the Americans from contracting Ebola, which the World Health Organization (WHO) notes has a death rate of up to 90 percent and has already killed at least 4,484 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, is every bit as important as preventing human rights abusers from entering the United States.’

‘Therefore we urge that your use (of the provision) cover any foreign national who was present in a country with widespread and intense transmission of Ebola within the two months prior to desired travel to the U.S.,’ they added. ‘Such a travel restriction can and should be temporary, with the moratorium lifted when the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and any other countries with a subsequent outbreak, is controlled.’