McCaul Statement in Defense of Visa Waiver Program Improvement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today House Homeland Security Committee Chairman released a statement in defense of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention law (pg. 1869) recently signed by the President—in light of news that the State Department has told Iran it is possible to exempt them from the new measures.  The law requires certain foreigners tied to terrorist hotspots and state sponsors of terrorism, including Iran, to go through an extra layer of screening before receiving approval to visit the United States.

Chairman Michael McCaul said, “This Administration’s continued capitulation to Iran continues to reach new lows. In a desperate attempt to appease the regime in Tehran, the Secretary of State says he can bypass requirements in a law the President himself signed only days ago. But our government does not work like the Iranian regime, and the Secretary of State cannot throw the Constitution out the window.  This legislation was passed by a bipartisan majority in Congress, and it does not — and never was intended to — give the Administration blanket authority to exempt entire countries from new security measures we put in place to keep our country safe. Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of Islamist terrorism, and our message to them is clear: as long as you fuel networks of terror, individuals connected to your country will not be allowed to enter ours without closer scrutiny.”

This bill, H.R. 158, originally passed the House with an overwhelming margin, 407-19.