Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) have introduced legislation that would suspend the visa waiver program for countries with citizens that have joined Islamic extremists.
The lawmakers said the legislation would prevent potential terrorists working with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from entering the U.S. easily. Instead, people from countries with citizens known to be working with ISIS would undergo a visa application process.
“If we do nothing to close this loophole, and allow a terrorist to carry out an attack on our homeland, the impacts will be devastating. Action is needed now,” Gabbard said.
Perry warned that even European countries with passport holders known to be involved with ISIS should be carefully vetted.
“We all learned on September 11, 2001 and in Benghazi two years ago that waiting to act until terrorists plan – or execute – an attack will cost American lives,” Perry said. “Terrorists with Western passports pose a clear risk the United States.”
Under the legislation, the Departments of State and Homeland Security could restore countries’ visa waiver program if they have sufficiently tracked and apprehended terrorists trying to enter the U.S.