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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Libertarians urge Obama to control border to stem “swine flu”

White House announces opposition to border enforcement in flu outbreak

WASHINGTON – America’s third largest party urged the White House Wednesday to more closely monitor crossings at the United States’ border with Mexico, and keep out persons infected with “swine flu.”

“The Libertarian Party Platform is clear, Libertarians support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee the Obama administration will not try to stop infected individuals from crossing the United States-Mexico border, claiming that since there are already isolated cases of the virus in the U.S, there is no need to try and stop widespread dissemination of the virus by newly-entered carriers in areas where it did not previously exist.

“I’m sure people across the United States appreciate the Obama White House announcing there is no need to stop the virus from being introduced to their community since it’s already in places like New York and Houston,” said Ferguson.

A Mexico City toddler who traveled to Texas with his family to visit relatives died in a Houston hospital Monday evening, the first confirmed death in the U.S. from swine flu.
 
“That is typical of the irresponsibility of the Obama White House,” said Ferguson.  “While doctors and hospitals should be focused on mitigating the virus here, as Secretary Napolitano stated, Barack Obama also has a responsibility to ensure infected people don’t flee into the United States and spread the virus here.”

“There is no reason to allow possibly infected people to cross the border.  They can wait until they are cleared as healthy,” said Ferguson.

Former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr, the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, also urged federal officials to more closely monitor the border and keep out infected individuals who could further spread the disease in the United States.

“We can and should take steps to ensure neither a swine flu nor any other disease epidemic crosses into our territory by having our government commit to monitoring and restricting border crossings from Mexico,” Barr wrote in a column Wednesday for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Of course, holding press conferences and telling people to wash their hands and cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze is politically less risky,” wrote Barr.

“The proper response is simple.  The government should use its rightful authority over the border to control entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to our health by spreading the virus into areas where it does not exist.  America’s doctors, hospitals and health care professionals – the best in the world – should then take the lead on eradicating the virus where it already exists,” said Ferguson.

For more information on this issue, or to arrange an interview with the Libertarian Party, please call Director of Communications Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or 202-333-0008, x. 225, or email Donny.Ferguson@lp.org.

The Libertarian Party is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting http://www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

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