On July 29, Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) became the first member of Congress to formally call on the Obama administration to ban travel from the three countries in West Africa experiencing Ebola outbreaks.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson dated July 29, Grayson stated, “I write to request the imposition of a travel ban on the citizens of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and any foreign person who has visited one of these nations 90 days prior to arriving in the United States.”
But both the State Department and Homeland Security ignored his request. Instead, on August 15, Homeland Security’s United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS)announced the implementation of a new policy, “Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States,” that made it easier for citizens of these countries with visas to extend their stay in the United States, as Breitbart News reported on Friday.
Specifically, the USCIS stated it would begin “[e]xpedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives (currently in the United States) of U.S. citizens” who were living in or citizens of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leonne, the three countries in West Africa experiencing outbreaks of Ebola.