National Security and Law Enforcement: Breaking the New Visa Waiver Law to Appease Iran, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, February 10, 2016   [open pdf - 456KB]

This is the February 10, 2016 hearing on "National Security and Law Enforcement: Breaking the New Visa Waiver Law to Appease Iran," held before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. From the opening statement of Michael T. McCaul: "We are holding this hearing today because Congress is confronted with a dilemma, which has grave implications for our National security and for our democratic process. In December, the President signed important measures into law to improve counter-terrorism screening of foreign travelers coming into the United States. These enhancements were urgently needed in the wake of the Paris attacks and in light of the high terror threat environment. But now the President has decided that he is going to break this law. He plans to do so, in part, to accommodate the world's leading state sponsor of terror, Iran. I believe this decision could have serious consequences for our security and, perhaps, more importantly, far-reaching consequences for our democracy. This legislation at issue is H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. It was authorized by this committee's Vice Chair, Mrs. Miller, and it implements several major recommendations from the committee's bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel. [...] Accordingly, the new law sends a clear message to Visa Waiver Program citizens. If you have recently visited Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Sudan, you must go through additional screening before coming to the United States. The President's moving forward with an illegal implementation of the law that he signed only weeks ago, breaching the trust between our 2 branches of Government and potentially putting our Nation's security at risk." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: R. Gil Kerlikowske and Hillary Batjer Johnson.

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