The Obama administration has shunned multiple requests to respond to a disturbing report exposing its secret plan to admit Ebola-infected foreigners into the United States for treatment and now Congress has joined Judicial Watch to demand answers.
Will the administration blow off Congress the way it has Judicial Watch? In the last couple of days JW has contacted a number of government agencies that may be involved in the backdoor plan for comment but all except one have ignored the requests, both telephonic and by electronic mail. Only the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered a response, albeit a curt one. “We have nothing for you on that,” CDC spokeswoman Amesheia Buckner told JW this week.
Other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), simply discounted JW’s requests-both verbal and in writing-for comment. Specifically, the Obama administration’s goal is to bring Ebola patients into the United States for treatment within the first days of diagnosis, according to high-level sources that provided JW with details of the scheme. It includes special waivers of laws and regulations that ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola.
Information about the arrangement is being kept secret from legislators, according to one of JW’s sources, which expressed concern that the proposal is illegal, endangers the public health and welfare and should require the approval of Congress. In the days following JW’s alarming report, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee fired off a letter to the secretaries of State and Homeland Security asking for details of the Ebola plan and whether employees of their agencies had engaged in conversations regarding it. “Please provide me any and all written memos or other documentation written by employees of your Departments regarding the formulation of a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to enter the U.S. to receive medical treatment,” says the letter signed by the committee’s chair, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. The committee is giving the agency heads until the end of the week to respond.
One way President Obama can carry out this outrageous initiative is to offer Ebola-infected foreign nationals a special parole. Under federal regulations a parolee is an alien that is inadmissible to the inspecting officer but is allowed into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons. Obama applied this exemption to allow the recent influx of illegal immigrant minors that entered the country through the Mexican border by labeling it a “humanitarian crisis.” Besides “urgent humanitarian reasons,” parole can be authorized at DHS headquarters for “medical emergency,” according to the agency’s regulations. This could apply to foreign nationals infected with Ebola.
Judicial Watch has launched an investigation into the U.S. Ebola crisis and has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Specifically, JW is demanding that the DOD reveal its plans for evacuation of American personnel in Africa and OSHA’s plans for response to the Ebola outbreak as well as expressions of concern by agency personnel relating to the deadly virus. Additionally, JW is seeking information about the cryptic carrier Phoenix Air, which has been transporting Ebola-infected patients and has significant Pentagon contracts.