Dec 21, 2015

Iran Cannot Be Exempt from the New Visa Waiver Program Law

Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on Secretary Kerry’s letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif regarding Congress’s visa waiver program legislation:

“When Congress passed legislation to reform the visa waiver program, we intended to keep the American people safe from terrorism and from foreign travelers who potentially pose a threat to our homeland. This legislation, which the President signed into law, allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive the new strict requirements for specific people if and only if it would benefit law enforcement or the national security interests of the United States. Contrary to what the Secretary of State seems to be saying to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, it was not and has never been Congress’s intent to allow the Administration to grant a blanket waiver to travelers to and from Iran in order to facilitate the implementation of the Iran deal.

“The visa waiver reform law is not ambiguous, and, by Presidential signature, it is the law of the land. Instead of undermining Congressional intent regarding the visa waiver program, the White House should instead focus on Iran’s repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council’s bans on missile tests. Iran’s unwillingness to follow these international agreements should be a red flag that the Iran nuclear deal isn’t worth the paper it is written on.”