Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On House Homeland Security Committee Task Force Report On Combating Terrorist And Foreign Fighter Travel [September 30, 2015]   [open pdf - 150KB]

On September 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security issued the following press release: "I thank the House Homeland Security Committee, in particular Chairman McCaul and Ranking Member Thompson, for their work examining the critical issue of foreign terrorist fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq. The report published by the Committee's bipartisan task force is an important assessment of how we in the U.S. government can enhance our efforts to counter the foreign terrorist fighter threat. As noted in the report, the Department of Homeland Security has undertaken much of what is recommended. Over the past year I directed a series of actions to address the issue. First, we prioritized enhancements to the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows individuals from 38 selected countries to travel to the United States without a visa. In 2014, I directed the addition of new data elements to the VWP's Electronic System for Travel Authorization application. And, in August of this year, I directed the introduction of new security criteria countries must meet to participate in the VWP. These combined measures help us to better and more quickly screen and identify foreign terrorist fighters. I appreciate the attention the Committee's report paid to the security of the Visa Waiver Program and their support for the efforts taken by my Department."

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
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