Two weeks after Donald Trump said foreigners from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries arriving at US airports would face some “enhanced screening,” two leading Democratic senators are now talking about placing a seven-day quarantine on all travellers arriving at US airports from the affected regions.
The proposal from Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has been approved in principle by the Homeland Security and State and Foreign Relations committees, sources told The Washington Post.
A spokeswoman for Senator Cardin told The Post, “The process currently in place is not working, and while we wait for implementation of the President’s order, we are crafting a better one to save lives.” She said the senators hope to release a draft by mid-October and bring it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.
The senators suggest that the law would require travelers from the countries to submit to “serious medical examination” and give up their “right to be heard or review,” the Post reports. It would require both the suspected traveler and the customs officials who allow them to travel to identify themselves so authorities can better screen for communicable diseases.
The move represents the highest profile attempt yet by Congress to limit President Trump’s travel ban, which was blocked by a federal court last month. Under the proposal, travelers to the United States would first undergo a rapid physical examination, after which they would be unable to enter the country for seven days if they were deemed to have traveled through the seven designated countries.
Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said the proposal is critical for “keeping the rest of the country safe,” since screening efforts for Ebola in West Africa are to be scaled back in 2017 as the battle there winds down.
Cardin and Warren aren’t the only lawmakers to propose restricting travel, though their proposal is the most ambitious yet. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon floated a similar idea two weeks ago. Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced a companion bill in the House.
According to the Hill, “The Trump administration has called for more advanced screening of travelers from Ebola-affected nations to prevent additional travel from Africa that might spread the deadly virus, but has questioned the necessity of a quarantine and suggested other measures, such as restrictions on travel.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.
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