for Bill to Close Visa Waiver Security Gaps
Washington D.C.____ Tuesday December
8, 2015, Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for HR 158, the Visa
Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. The
bill closes gaps existing in the program and adds additional layers of
Currently, citizens of all 38 approved Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries
can travel more easily to the United States, than travelers from other countries.
Rather than going to the U.S. Consulate to obtain a visa, citizens of VWP countries must
provide detailed background information through an online form that is screened
against U.S. security systems. VWP applicants are approved or denied for travel to the Unites
States, more quickly than citizens from non-VWP countries. This program
enhances U.S. security because the VWP countries must agree to strengthen their
own security screening measures and to share crucial counterterrorism and law
enforcement information with the Unites States.
In light of the high terror threat environment, more needs to be done to close
VWP security gaps and keep terrorists from entering into the U.S. Bill-HR 158
denies VWP travel to travelers who are nationals of – or have visited during
the past five years- Iraq, Syria, and other countries with significant
terrorist activity. These travelers will be required to seek a visa for entry
into the United States through a more stringent process.
Bill-HR 158 also demands strong intelligence sharing by law enforcement, enhances
screening of all travelers in VWP countries, prevents extremists from using
fraudulent documents to evade detection, and takes steps to ensure VWP
travelers do not falsify their background information.
Paul Cook said, “We need strong leadership to defeat ISIS. Despite our
President’s assertion, ISIS is not a ‘junior varsity’ organization.
control more territory than al-Qaeda ever did in the Middle East. With the
recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California it is clear that we need
to be doing more to improve our security screening to prevent future attacks. Bill-HR
158 takes an important step in the right direction by closing loopholes in the
Visa Waiver Program and NOW is the time to pass it. Terrorists are not welcome in the United
States of America!”
EDITOR’s NOTE: The
shooting of thirty-five people (S B County employees and party guests) in the Inland Regional Center in the City of San Bernardino -
See more at:
in San Bernardino,
California, was Wednesday December 2, 2015.