An Obama administration plan to facilitate the immigration of up to 100,000 Haitians to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa is fraught with medical risks, particularly the spread of diseases endemic to Haiti.
The Caribbean country is currently in the midst of outbreaks of cholera and the chikungunya virus.
It also has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS infection for any country outside of Africa.
The prevalence of chikungunya is especially worrisome since the aggressive mosquito required to transmit the disease was discovered earlier this month in California.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, announced it plans to expedite a program to reunite Haitians already living in the U.S. with family members abroad.
According to the Associated Press, about 100,000 Haitians have already been approved to arrive in the U.S. under the reunification program but are waiting in Haiti for visas.
The Washington Times reported Sen. Chuck Grassley, R- Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned the numbers could exceed the public estimates. He said the program was “likely just the beginning of the president’s unilateral and executive actions on immigration.”
Grassley questioned whether the Haitians would be provided with proper medical screening prior to arrival.
He asked: “Will there by medical screenings before entry? Will work permits be granted automatically? How will this affect American workers?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires some medical screening for all applicants outside the U.S. applying for an immigrant visa.
However, the regulations for the arriving Haitians under the expedited program was not immediately clear.
The CDC did not immediately respond to a WND request for clarification about the medical screening for the arriving Haitians.
The CDC reports an outbreak of a South Asian strain of cholera has been ongoing in Haiti since October 2010.
According to reports, at least 715,000 people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba have been sickened by cholera, with nearly 9,000 dying of the disease.
Haitian cholera reportedly spread to Mexico in September 2013.
Written by AARON KLEIN
Read more at WND