Press Releases

Carter Votes to Strengthen Visa Waiver Program

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Washington, December 8, 2015 | Mary Carpenter (202-834-0386) | comments
Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (Ga-01) voted in support of H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, today to close security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program to combat terrorist travel.

“ISIS and other terrorist organizations are looking for any opportunity to exploit the hospitality of a nation to cause devastating harm and the security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program are yet another opportunity for them to infiltrate our homeland,” Carter said. “The largest convergence of jihadists in world history is happening right now in Syria and Iraq and many hold Western passports allowing them to get into the United States without a visa. We must act immediately to close this dangerous loophole to ensure terrorists are not able to hop on a plane and cross our borders. This legislation should be signed into law as soon as possible for the safety of the American people.”

The Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Protection Act:

• Gives 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; 
• Denies Visa Waiver Program status to those citizens from participating countries that have traveled to certain terrorist hotspots since 2011;
• Requires all Visa Waiver Program countries use fraud resistant e-passports and;
• Allows for the suspension of high-risk countries.

Carter is a cosponsor of the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act passed in the House today.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Carter has been working with colleagues on the committee to address the situation and will continue to focus on protecting our homeland from potential threats. Carter cosponsored H.R. 2899, the Countering Violent Extremism Act of 2015, and assisted in passing this legislation through the House Committee on Homeland Security. This legislation establishes within the Department of Homeland Security the Office for Countering Violent Extremism to support efforts to counter violent extremism.

He also sent a letter to both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging the administration to immediately halt admissions of refugees from the conflict areas into the United States. Click here to view or download a copy of the letter.
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