skip to main content
React to this bill with an emoji:
Save your position on this bill bill on a six-point scale from strongly oppose to strongly support:

H.R. 158 (114th): Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 6, 2015 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 158

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 2015

(for herself and Mr. McCaul) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To clarify the grounds for ineligibility for travel to the United States regarding terrorism risk, to expand the criteria by which a country may be removed from the Visa Waiver Program, to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a report on strengthening the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to better secure the international borders of the United States and prevent terrorists and instruments of terrorism from entering the United States, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015.

2.

Grounds for ineligibility for travel to the United States; Reports on law enforcement and security interests; Continuing qualification and designation terminations; Report on strengthening the Electronic System for Travel Authorization

(a)

Grounds for ineligibility for travel to the United States; Period of validity

Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(11), by inserting , including terrorism risk, after security risk; and

(2)

in subsection (h)(3)—

(A)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting , including terrorism risk, after security risk;

(B)

in subparagraph (C), in the second sentence, by inserting before the period at the end the following: , or, if the Secretary determines that such is appropriate, may limit such period of eligibility; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(E)

Additional reports

(i)

Reports on certain limitations on travel

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate a report on the number of individuals, identified by their countries of citizenship or nationality, who were denied eligibility to travel under the System or whose eligibility for such travel was revoked during the previous year if such individual was determined, in accordance with subsection (a)(6), to represent a threat to the security of the United States.

(ii)

Reports on certain threat assessments

Beginning with the first report under clause (i) of subsection (c)(5)(A) that is submitted after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph and periodically thereafter (together with subsequent reports submitted under such clause (i)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate a report that contains a threat assessment regarding the compliance of foreign governments with the agreements described in subparagraphs (D) and (F) of subsection (c)(2).

.

(b)

Reports on law enforcement and security interests; Continuing qualification and designation terminations

Subsection (c) of section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)(C)(iii)—

(A)

by striking and the Committee on International Relations and inserting , the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Homeland Security; and

(B)

by striking and the Committee on Foreign Relations and inserting , the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and

(2)

in paragraph (5)—

(A)

in subparagraph (A)(i)—

(i)

in subclause (III), by striking and at the end;

(ii)

in subclause (IV), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(iii)

by adding after subclause (IV) the following new subclause:

(V)

shall submit to Congress a report regarding the security parameters described in paragraph (9).

; and

(B)

in subparagraph (B), by adding at the end the following new clause:

(v)

Additional program suspension authority

If the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, determines that a country participating in the visa waiver program has failed to comply with an agreement under subparagraph (F) of paragraph (2), the Secretary of Homeland Security—

(I)

may suspend a country from the visa waiver program without prior notice;

(II)

shall notify any country suspended under subclause (I) and provide justification for the suspension; and

(III)

shall restore the suspended country’s participation in the visa waiver program upon a determination that the country is in compliance with the agreement at issue.

.

(c)

Report on strengthening the Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on steps to strengthen the automated electronic travel authorization system (commonly referred to as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization) under paragraph (3) of section 217(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(h)) to better secure the international borders of the United States and prevent terrorists and instruments of terrorism from entering the United States.

(d)

Time for report

The first report required under subclause (V) of section 217(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as added by subsection (b)(2)(A)(iii) of this section) shall be submitted at the same time the next report required under subclause (IV) of such section 217(c)(5)(A)(i) is submitted after the date of the enactment of this Act.