Washington, D.C.—On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) voted to strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by supporting the bipartisan Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act (H.R. 158).
“In a world that seemingly grows less safe by the day, this legislation addresses the vulnerabilities of the Visa Waiver Program by putting in place stronger security measures,” said Rep. Bost. “The bill requires participating countries to provide counterterrorism information and other critical intelligence for those who have traveled to terrorist hotspots, like Iraq and Syria. This is a common sense step forward in keeping American families safe.”
In order to address these vulnerabilities, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 will:
Give the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to suspend a country’s participation in the program if they fail to share counterterrorism information with the U.S.;
Deny Visa Waiver Program status to those citizens from participating countries that have traveled to certain terrorist hotspots since 2011;
Require all Visa Waiver Program countries use fraud resistant “e-passports;” and
Allow for the suspension of high-risk countries.