Published Date:  

2007-04-23 04:00

Public Description:  

The bill would grant DHS the authority to waive the Visa Waiver Program’s (VWP) “low nonimmigrant visa refusal rate” requirements with respect to a country’s participation in the VWP (i.e., have a low nonimmigrant visa refusal rate for two years [averaging no more than two percent over both years, not exceeding 2.5 percent in any one year] or no more than a three percent refusal rate for the most recent fiscal year) if: (1) DHS (in consultation with the State and Justice Departments) determines that the country has mitigated security risks to the point that participation in the VWP would not compromise U.S. homeland security, law enforcement, security interests, or immigration enforcement; (2) there has been a sustained reduction in visa refusal rates for aliens from the country and reductions are likely to continue; (3) the country actively cooperated with the United States to prevent terrorist travel and enhance U.S. border security , including sharing counterrorism and law enforcement information before participation in the VWP; (4) the country meets all security requirements, including some new prerequisites (e.g., improved reporting of lost or stolen passports, information sharing regarding prospective visitors, prompt repatriation of aliens ordered removed from the United States, etc.), for participation in the VWP; and (5)(a) the average number of refusals of tourist/business visas for nationals of that country during the previous fiscal year was less than six percent; or (b) the total number of nationals of that country who were denied admission or who withdrew their application for admission to the United States, combined with the total number of nationals of that country who were admitted as nonimmigrant visitors but who violated the terms of such admission, thereby presenting a potential security risk, was less than two percent of the total number of nationals of that country who applied for admission to the United States as nonimmigrant visitors during the previous fiscal year; would require DHS to develop and implement a fully-automated electronic travel authorization system to collect basic biographical information to determine, in advance of travel, the eligibility of an alien to travel to the United States under the VWP; and would require DHS to establish an exit system to record flight departures leaving the United States of every alien participating in the VWP.

To improve the Nation's homeland security by strengthening the security of the visa waiver program under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and for other purposes.

NumbersUSA's Position:  

Oppose
Sponsored by:  Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS2] in the 110th congress

Bill Number:  

H.R. 2006

Chamber:  

House