The Latest News from Washington


Update on Ebola Travel Restrictions


Last week, I shared my support for imposing visa restrictions and quarantine measures for those traveling from Ebola affected countries in West Africa as a means of limiting the possibility that someone infected with Ebola might come into the United States. The Administration has announced additional travel related precautions they are implementing – including routing all passengers arriving from the affected countries in West Africa through the five airports that are now subject to increased screening measures. However, at this time, more ought to be done to limit the risk of exposing the American people to this deadly disease.


As part of this effort, fifteen fellow members of the Doctors Caucus & I have sent President Obama a letter urging a temporary travel ban to combat Ebola. The letter reads:


Containment is key to stopping the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease, and we strongly urge your administration to consider implementing a temporary travel ban for individuals who are citizens of, or traveled to, affected countries in West Africa. For American citizens who have been exposed to Ebola, we support the recommended 21-day quarantine before they can enter the country.


We understand and support the continued flow of aid workers and supplies to control the spread of Ebola at its source, but temporarily restricting entry to the United States for individuals from – or who traveled to – affected countries could limit the possible introduction of additional individuals carrying the virus. We strongly support continued American leadership to help the affected countries in West Africa combat this deadly disease, and urge other members of the global community to redouble their efforts.


Click here to view the full letter.


This important issue as well as Obamacare and the need for patient-centered health care reform was the focus of my discussion with Bill Bennett on his radio show “Morning in America” this past Wednesday. You can listen to our conversation, by clicking here.


Troubling News on Immigration


A new report shows that the Obama Administration was not transparent or forthright with Congress or the American people when it chose to release 2,200 illegal immigrants last year. At the time, officials claimed that those being released had no “serious criminal records” and were not a threat. And yet, now we are learning that was not the whole story. From the USA Today:


New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.


The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.


This is a serious breach of trust. It comes as President Obama is planning to take further action in the months ahead to circumvent and undermine the nation’s immigration laws. The details of what the president is orchestrating are also being kept from the American people – sparking concerns when reports emerge that seem to suggest the Administration may be preparing a massive increase in the number of work permits and green cards issued.


Our immigration laws need to be updated, but above all they need to be enforced.