Bill would prohibit visas for foreigners from Ebola-stricken countries

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) has introduced legislation to prevent visas for people from countries afflicted by the Ebola virus.

Kelly argued that the U.S. should take any means possible to limit spread of the disease. Three West African countries have suffered the most losses from Ebola: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

{mosads}”We can be halfway around the world in a very short period of time. It’s not like the old days when these diseases, these viruses, were carried and it took months for them to get from shore to shore, from country to country. It now can travel very quickly. And it mutates very quickly,” Kelly warned in a House floor speech.

The bill, H.R. 5746, would also revoke current visas of people who are residents of countries that the Centers for Disease Control has determined is most afflicted by Ebola

However, aid workers approved by the U.S. Agency for International Development who need to travel to the U.S. and Pentagon-approved members of the military would be exempt from the visa ban.

Visas for people from the West African countries would be available again 60 days after the CDC certifies the Ebola outbreak is over.

Five GOP senators have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

The Obama administration resisted calls to impose a travel ban during the peak of the Ebola outbreak this fall, arguing that people would only circument the ban and it could exacerbate the problem by making it harder for medical workers to reach West Africa.

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