Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today announced plans to introduce legislation to impose common sense travel restrictions by creating a temporary ban on new visas for nationals of the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Rubio plans to introduce the legislation following the Senate’s return to session in November.
The ban would be put in place immediately, until the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has certified that the Ebola outbreak has been contained. New countries in which the outbreak reaches significant levels would also be subject to this ban. The legislation would exempt individuals who are approved to come to the U.S. for training related to the Ebola outbreak.
“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,” said Rubio. “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.
“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,” added 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.”