Tags: Immigration | visa | waivder | law | danger | katko | gop

Rep. Katko: Obama's Failure on Visa Waiver Law Endangers US


Saturday, 06 Feb 2016 09:31 AM

The Obama administration's failure to enforce a new visa waiver law in order to appease Iran endangers America's security interests, Rep. John Katko said in Saturday's GOP address.

"I am a former federal prosecutor, and I can tell you a law is only as good as how you enforce it," the New York Republican said. "This is not a time to start lowering our guard. And we should not put Iran’s feelings before America’s security interests."

In December, the House passed a law tightening the waiver program so terrorists could not use it for passage into the United States. The law allows people from certain countries to come to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, making it easier for people from friendly nations such as Canada and Great Britain to come into the country.

The Islamic State, though, has been recruiting people from otherwise friendly countries, so the new rules say that people who have traveled to countries with significant terrorist activity at anytime after 2011 are not eligible to travel under the program.

"Unfortunately, the administration is now carving loopholes into the law," said Katko. "Last month, the administration announced that it would grant waivers to people engaged in journalism, humanitarian work, or, for people traveling to Iraq or Iran, 'legitimate business-related purposes.'"

But the waivers have no basis in law, Katko said, and Congress rejected the same idea when negotiating the bill with the administration, allowing waivers for law enforcement or national security reasons only.

"It is not at all clear how granting a waiver to a New York Times reporter is in our 'law enforcement' or 'national security' interests," said Katko.

Congress is pressing the administration for a full report on who is getting the waivers, said Katko, and expects the names and nationalities of each traveler, detailed justification for granting waivers, and the numbers of people who want them in each category.

"This law is a common sense measure we need to keep us safe, and we House Republicans will do all we can to make sure the administration enforces it in full," he concluded.

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The Obama administration's failure to enforce a new visa waiver law in order to appease Iran endangers America's security interests, Rep. John Katko said in Saturday's GOP address.
visa, waivder, law, danger, katko, gop, address
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2016-31-06
Saturday, 06 Feb 2016 09:31 AM
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