There are about 200,000 Africans from countries hosting the deadly Ebola virus who hold temporary visas to visit the United States, greatly raising the stakes it could spread to America, according to a group following the immigration issue.
“Based on State Department nonimmigrant visa issuance statistics, I estimate that there are about 5,000 people in Guinea, 5,000 people in Sierra Leone, and 3,500 people in Liberia who possess visas to come to the United States today,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Add to that “more than 195,000 Nigerians” with visas to visit, or who could already be here, she said of the country that has seen temporary U.S. visas skyrocket.
The government has promised that the U.S. is safe, but that’s not good enough for Vaughan. “At this time, with an extremely serious public health threat and more than 200,000 people who potentially could enter and spread it, either knowingly or unknowingly, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security should disclose to the public what they are doing to prevent travelers infected with Ebola from entering the country,” she told Secrets.
The Ebola crisis is also drawing attention to citizens from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who overstay their visas. Vaughan said that the overstay rate of those from Ebola-impacted nations should be a concern.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.