The edge of a fence near the U.S.-Mexico border in Hidalgo, Texas, in 2014 (Photo: National Public Radio)

The edge of a fence near the U.S.-Mexico border in Hidalgo, Texas, in 2014 (Photo: National Public Radio)

The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services has decided to no longer ban foreigners with three particular sexually transmitted diseases from entering the country, leaving the past president of the American Association of American Physicians and Surgeons wondering what the administration possibly could be thinking.

“I’m just appalled at this whole thing, and I guess I have to say who benefits?” Dr. Lee Hieb, M.D., a spinal surgeon, asked in an interview with WND. “What’s this all about? Why would they do this? What possible benefit to Americans is there in accepting yet more disease across the border?”

Since 1993, a clause in the Immigration and Nationality Act has stated any alien whom HHS determines to have “a communicable disease of public health significance” shall not be admitted to the United States. When President Obama took office, there were eight diseases classified as such, but in 2009 his administration removed HIV/AIDS from the list.

Now the Obama HHS has announced it will also remove chancroid, granuloma inguinale and lymphogranuloma venereum from its list of communicable diseases “of public health significance.” The new rule is set to take effect March 28.

Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, said this new rule shows the Obama administration’s disregard for its own constituents.

“I think it’s one more piece of evidence that they are reckless, irresponsible and unconcerned about the welfare of the American people – especially women,” Orient told WND. “It’s kind of a war on women to let in people who might be infecting women with a loathsome disease.”

Orient, an occasional WND contributor, noted Obama has lately been admitting large numbers of “refugees” from primarily Muslim countries that could be said to have a “rape culture.” When a penchant for rape is combined with the possibility of carrying STDs, it creates a scary situation for American women.

“Here we have immigrants who follow an ideology in which the rape of infidel women is actually acceptable,” Orient said. “And these migrants, when settled in places like Sweden, are causing an epidemic of rape, certainly of sexual molestation and assault on women, and so you have people who not only think rape is acceptable, but who have infectious diseases to boot. It sort of compounds the problem.”

The three STDs in question are found mostly in Third-World countries. According to Jon Feere, legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, chancroid is found mostly in Africa and southwest Asia, regions from which many migrants flock to Europe and the U.S. Granuloma inguinale is found in tropical and sub-tropical areas like southeast India, Guyana and New Guinea. Lymphogranuloma venereum is most common in Central and South America, regions from which the bulk of U.S. immigrants come.

All three diseases are rare in the U.S. these days, which is undoubtedly why HHS no longer considers them to be “of public health significance. But if the U.S. starts allowing immigrants to carry them back into the country, Orient noted, they may very well become a public problem again.

“Look, they’re infectious diseases,” she said. “All you need is one case of an infectious disease to get more cases.”

According to a Center for Immigration Studies report, the HHS admits there will most likely be more STD infections in the United States as a result of the new policy. Regarding the monetary cost, the HHS secretary said the cost of welcoming in aliens with these infections would be less than $100 million per year, which the department terms “not economically significant.”

Orient scoffed at that notion.

“That’s $100 million that could be better spent upon something else, and I thought they were supposed to be interested in preventing disease, not in spending less than $100 million on cleaning up the results of not preventing the disease, especially since they haven’t seemed to be inclined to deport even people who have been proven to have committed rape,” she said.

Feere, who authored the aforementioned CIS report, said this new rule reveals a lot about Obama’s priorities.

“I think that this move proves once again that for the Obama administration more immigration is the most important goal, all costs aside,” Feere told WND in an interview. “When you actually look at all of his policies, you see that every move he makes on immigration is designed to narrow the scope of immigration enforcement and to open up the country to more immigration, and this is just one more example.”

The HHS claims there is only “potential” for “a negligible increase in the number of disease cases entering the United States,” but Feere disputes that claim. For starters, he said chancroid is the only one of the three STDs that is reported to the CDC, meaning it will be difficult to measure the new rule’s impact on the other two diseases. What’s more, the HHS admits data on each of the three STDs are not systematically collected by any country outside the United States or by the World Health Organization.

Feere also said HHS, when calculating the impact of its new rule, is only looking at those aliens who would seek to become legal permanent residents. It is not considering temporary aliens. In addition, he said HHS is assuming a low infection rate.

Another important thing to remember, according to Feere, is most foreigners are not given a medical examination when they enter the U.S. Short-term immigrants and non-immigrants are not examined, and illegal immigrants are obviously not examined. Refugees and those seeking permanent residency do receive medical exams.

“So a lot of folks who are coming in aren’t going to be checked anyhow, so there’s a real question as to whether our immigration system is protecting us when it comes to health issues,” Feere said.

But even for those who are checked, the three aforementioned STDs will no longer bar them from entering the country. In fact, the only four communicable diseases “of public health significance” that still prevent an immigrant from entering the country are tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis and gonorrhea.

“I think it’s a legitimate concern that we are now going to be allowing in people with STDs that in the past we would not have,” Feere said. “There is going to be a real cost, and it’s the taxpayer who’s going to bear this cost, especially when we’re talking about people who are not so well-off, like refugees. They’re not going to be paying for their own medical care. Of course it’s going to fall on the taxpayer.”

Lee Hieb, author of “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare,” also trembles when she thinks about the type of person this new rule will allow into the country.

“If people are coming in with this, what that does is it doesn’t open the gates to three-year-old girls; this opens the gates to, in my opinion, the 18-year-old gangbangers who couldn’t get in because of these diseases,” Hieb said. “Think about it. It’s not little girls that can’t get in because they have chancroid; it’s young men. Why are we bringing in all these potential-problem young men into our country?”

Hieb, a periodic WND columnist, rejects the idea that this is another attempt to increase the pool of cheap immigrant labor.

“Don’t tell me this is a labor force issue, unless we’re short of gangbangers,” said Hieb, who recognizes “gangbangers” is a politically incorrect term. “These are not your engineers and rocket scientists that are coming in with these [diseases]. The people that get these are unlikely to be the people we would want in our workforce to begin with. It’s unnecessary.”

Even if the nation’s leaders do want people with these STDs to come and work, Hieb said they should insist the immigrants receive treatment for their diseases before they enter the country. She claimed it would be much cheaper to send the necessary drugs to the endemic areas than to deal with an STD outbreak in this country.

So the new rule serves no humanitarian purpose in Hieb’s mind. She wonders if it might be a simple political ploy from a Democrat administration trying to bring more Democrat voters into the country.

“What is the possible benefit of doing this?” Hieb asked again. “Is it to get voters? I mean, really? Are you willing to sacrifice our young women for the point of getting more voters for some party?

“If you tell me that’s not it, then what is it? What is the point? Because I can’t come up with one.”

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