Today DHS imposed a set of travel restrictions that will funnel all travelers coming from countries suffering from Ebola outbreaks through 5 major airports in the U.S.
Although these restrictions will not close off ports of entry to these travelers, they will force all travelers coming from those West African countries to submit to both an interview and temperature checks at Washington Dulles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The White House is confident that these measures will help “ensure the safety and security of the American public.” Via The Hill:
“This is a situation where the DHS had to work with the airlines that are flying passengers from a wide variety of countries from Europe to the United States. It did require some work with the State Department to inform other countries. So there’s a lot of coordination that had to go into developing and implementing this policy.”
The White House said it remains opposed to a flight ban, which the president and health officials argue would be counterproductive.
“The fact of the matter is giving individuals an incentive to conceal their travel history only puts the American public at risk. … It makes it harder for us to determine which individuals need to be subjected to the screening that we’ve described,” Earnest said.
Although this move hasn’t stopped calls from both sides of the aisle to go further with restrictions, at least we’ll be able to control movement until we execute initial screenings.
“These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries,” Johnson said. “At present there are no direct, nonstop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea to any airport in the United States.”
[Homeland Security Secretary Jeh] Johnson stopped short of announcing a full ban on travel between the three nations and the United States, despite increasing calls from members of Congress to do so. The White House has said as recently as last week that it opposes such a restriction. However, Johnson added: “We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) plans to introduce a “next step” bill that would ban new visas for travelers coming from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
Featured Image h/t USA TodayDONATE
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