Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015by Representative Ted Poe
Posted on 2015-12-08
POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, we all know that ISIS is not
contained. ISIS, in fact, is expanding its reign of terror. Its
fighters hold passports from different countries around the world. We
know they are embedded in Western countries, are able to travel freely,
and are hard to track down--and they want to do us harm.
Under the current Visa Waiver Program, individuals from 38 countries are exempt from the standard vetting process to get a visa and come to America. Hold a passport from one of these 38 countries, and you can just jump on a plane and come here. Those 38 countries are supposed to share their watch lists with us, but some of them don't. That makes it easier for the bad guys to fly to America.
So this bill fixes that real loophole in the current system. Those 38 countries will now be required to share their watch lists with us. If they don't, they are prohibited from being in the Visa Waiver Program. Foreign citizens who have recently traveled to Iraq and Syria will also be required to go through additional screening.
Mr. Speaker, terrorist fighters have America in their hateful, evil sights. We must do all we can to stop them from coming here, and the status quo just won't keep us safe. As chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I totally support this commonsense legislation.