Gwinnett Daily Post-U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., called for tougher screening processes to review foreigners attempting to receive a visa waiver.
The House of Representatives passed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 by a 407-19 margin on Tuesday. Among Gwinnett County’s three congressmen, Woodall and Rep. Jody Hice voted for the bill, while Rep. Hank Johnson was among the 19 Democrats who cast votes against it, according to the House Clerk’s office.
The bill, which Woodall co-sponsored and comes in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., empowers the Secretary of Homeland Security to stop visa waiver admissions from certain countries.
The countries from which waiver admissions can be halted include those who doesn’t share counter terrorism information, doesn’t use INTERPOL data to screen travelers and is not issuing biometric e-passports, according to Woodall’s office.
“It is critical that we strengthen the security and screening measures for the visa waiver program, and allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend any nation that is not completely cooperative and forthcoming in every facet of the process moves the ball forward,” Woodall said in a statement.
“There is more to do, however. I remain committed to working with those in the House to ensure any gaps in our nation’s laws are closed, but ultimately ISIS and those who share their ideology must be defeated – and the President must provide a clear strategy for doing just that.”