‚Äč   U.S. Congressman Cook Voted

 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 protection.

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.

They 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: http://www.bigbearlake.net/etnews/The-Wednesday-Shootings-#sthash.7xR8rJ7x.dpuf

in San Bernardino, California, was Wednesday December 2, 2015.