Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015by Representative Jackie Walorski
Posted on 2015-12-08
WALORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 158. In order
to protect our national security and the safety of Americans, we must
also adapt our policies to prevent terrorists from entering U.S. soil.
As we have heard earlier, approximately 5,000 Europeans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, many of whom are from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Many of these countries fail to provide the U.S. intelligence community with critical information needed to ensure those traveling under the program are not a threat to the U.S. Today's legislation addresses and helps fix the vulnerabilities of this program.
Before an individual is permitted to enter the United States, additional vetting is required. This includes enhanced screening of individuals who have visited or are citizens of Iraq, Syria, and terrorist hotspots like Iran and Sudan, or other nations that have seen a rise in significant terrorist activities.
It strengthens intelligence and information sharing with our allies. It cracks down on passport fraud by requiring Visa Waiver countries to upgrade to biometrics and electronic passports and forces Visa Waiver countries to ramp up counterterrorism screenings of travelers.
As our enemies continue to evolve, we must do the same to protect the American people from the risks posed by this threat. I thank Congresswoman Miller for her hard work on this important piece of legislation.