Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Marco Rubio | Ebola | travel | restrictions | Rubio | Vitter

Sen. Marco Rubio Plans Bill to Impose Ebola Travel Ban

By    |   Monday, 20 Oct 2014 07:20 PM

With calls increasing for a ban on travel to the United States from countries ravaged by the Ebola virus, Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll introduce legislation next month to prohibit new visas for people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

In a prepared statement Monday, Rubio, a Florida Republican, described the ban, which he said he'll introduce when Congress goes back into session in November, as a "common-sense" restriction.

"While Ebola's deadly reach has proven to be a complex and unique international challenge, the many uncertainties surrounding this virus continue to threaten U.S. national security," Rubio said.

"Our biggest priority is ensuring that sufficient safeguards are in place to limit the spread of Ebola, contain it at the source, and protect Americans."

Health experts and officials have opposed travel restrictions on the nations at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, arguing that isolating those countries would worsen the outbreak.

Rubio, however, says a visa ban wouldn't "completely" cut off Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

"We must take any and all necessary precautions to contain this virus —  and common-sense restrictions on travel from countries now confronting this epidemic is an important step," said Rubio.

"The most effective way to combat this deadly virus is to address it at its source. This ban on issuance of visas does not mean we will be completely cutting off the affected countries from the outside world.

"We must continue to increase our assistance to those countries as they struggle to contain this outbreak. That is, ultimately, the only way we will be able to stop this outbreak and keep Americans safe from this horrible disease."

GOP Florida Rep. Dennis Ross also is preparing legislation aimed at fighting the spread by restricting flights to and from Ebola-affected countries "until the virus is declared to be contained and no longer a threat," PJ Media reports.

In a letter last week, Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter and New Jersey GOP Rep. Scott Garrett urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner to reconvene Congress as quickly as possible to deal with the threat.

"Without improvements to border control, our nation runs the risk of additional Ebola cases reaching our shores. This is simply unacceptable," Vitter and Garrett wrote, according to PJ Media.

"The Obama administration has failed to recognize this public health threat . . . The House and Senate must reconvene to direct the administration on what steps must be taken to protect the American people," they wrote.

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With calls increasing for a ban on travel to the United States from countries ravaged by the Ebola virus, Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll introduce legislation next month to prohibit new visas for people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Ebola, travel, restrictions, Rubio, Vitter, legislation
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2014-20-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 07:20 PM
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