The administration has decided to let immigrants with three sexually transmitted diseases known for causing sores or lesions on genitalia to enter the United States, an expansion of a previous decision to let in those with HIV.
The Department of Health and Human Services this month opened the borders to those with the STDs, deeming the communicable diseases not a big threat to the United States.
A report from the Center for Immigration Studies said that HHS does not believe that the costs to taxpayers to handle the immigrants with STDs will be significant.
Now, said the Center, the list of inadmissible communicable diseases only includes syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and leprosy.
"So what about the costs associated with the new rule change on the three remaining STDs? Don't worry, Obama's HHS secretary ran the numbers and explained in the Federal Register that, 'The results are not economically significant, i.e. more than $100 million of costs and benefits in a single year.' In other words, the cost of welcoming in aliens with these STDs will be below $100 million every year," said the CIS report.
The website Law 360 first revealed the rules change. "Under the change, the STIs granuloma inguinale, chancroid and lymphogranuloma venereum would no longer be considered a 'communicable disease of public health significance,'" said the website. Quoting HHS, it added, "The three bacterial infections are transmitted through sexual contact, have never been common in the United States and over the past two decades are observed to be increasingly rare throughout the world."
The administration had already pulled HIV off the list of diseases that bar immigrants from coming to the U.S.
"Despite the declaration that HIV was no longer a communicable disease of public health significance, the CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year and that over 1.2 million persons in the country are HIV positive. The United States has the highest prevalence of HIV infection of any developed country," said CIS in a report released at midnight.
The HHS rule change is set to take place in less than 60 days. HHS said that there are other diseases that demand their focus.
CIS wrote: "The administration argues that this change is beneficial because physicians who would otherwise be administering the exams 'will be able to devote more time and training to other, more common and/or more serious health issues.' Sound familiar? This is the same argument the Obama administration makes for directing ICE to only focus on deporting 'the worst of the worst' criminal aliens. By ignoring the run-of-the-mill illegal aliens, law enforcement can better focus on the most egregious offenders, they claim. But it means that plenty of dangerous aliens get a pass and it means that violence has largely become a prerequisite for immigration enforcement. Similarly, the change in STD policies means that many infections are potentially being ignored."
Author Jon Feere added: "And not to worry, HHS also explains that these 'primarily tropical infections can be prevented through improved personal hygiene and protected sex' and that if you do get them, the STDs can be cured 'with a short, uncomplicated course of antibiotic therapy.' Hopefully they're telling the immigrants that."
Feere, the Center's legal policy analyst, added, "This change in policy illustrates, once again, that increased immigration is the main goal of the Obama administration, no matter the costs. The administration itself estimates that more people will become infected and that there will be increased health care costs as a result of these changes. But obviously these are considerations that have little relevance for those with an open-border perspective."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.