Congressman Doug Collins : Press Releases : Collins Pushes for Emergency Suspension of Visa Waiver Program

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Collins: “Terrorism will not stop the free flow of people and commerce, but it will not exploit that freedom either.”


WASHINGTON [Sept 10] – Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09) today introduced legislation allowing for an emergency short-term suspension in the U.S. State Department’s Visa Waiver Program.


The program, meant  to expedite foreign travel for residents of United States and thirty-eight designated countries, could be utilized by Islamic State terrorists who posses western passports for easier entry into the United States.


“Terrorism will not stop the free flow of people and commerce, but it will not exploit that freedom either,” Congressman Collins explained.  “The pressure is on for our intelligence community to track down Islamic State jihadists who claim nationalities from literally all over the world, including our staunchest allies.  By restoring a layer of scrutiny to entrants from everywhere, the chances are greater for tracking and stopping terrorism before it happens.”


The vulnerabilities created by the Visa Waiver Program have been exploited by terrorists before.  September 11th conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui , the “shoebomber” Richard Reid, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspirator Ahmed Ajaj all either entered or attempted to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program as citizens of western countries.


The Visa Waiver Program Suspension Act suspends the program for 180 days, requiring a review and report to Congress on the national security risks posed by the program. Among its requirements, this report must include the number of terrorists admitted into the United States, the current visa overstay rate for any country participating in the Visa Waiver Program, the estimated impact on the travel industry, and a report on the cost and feasibility of a biometric entry-exit control system.

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