National Security

GOP lawmaker proposes halting fiance visas

A new House bill unveiled this week would suspend the visa program allowing people engaged to American citizens to enter the country.

Rep. Sam Johnson’s (R-Texas) bill comes after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., which has sparked debate over enhancing scrutiny of visa applicants.

One of the shooters, Tashfeen Malik, was originally from Pakistan and secured entry into the U.S. through the K-1 visa program after she and her American-born husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, became engaged. Multiple security checks failed to flag online discussions of jihad that would have otherwise denied Malik a visa.

{mosads}Under Johnson’s measure, the fiance visa program would be halted until Congress votes to reauthorize it. The Government Accountability Office, meanwhile, would submit a report to Congress on the national security risks brought on by the program.

“The terrorist attack in San Bernardino — the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since September 11th — made it clear that our homeland is vulnerable to terrorism,” Johnson said.

“This terrorist couple’s attack also made it clear that there are serious screening problems associated with the K-1 fiance visa program,” he said.

Lawmakers have been reviewing a number of ways to expand security checks for foreigners seeking to come to the U.S., including the fiance visa program. The omnibus spending package slated for a votes in both chambers Friday includes a measure passed by the House this month that restricts the visa-waiver program.

The provision enhances security screening procedures for citizens coming from the 38 countries that qualify for the program, including denying visa-free entry to anyone who has visited Iraq, Syria or other terror hotspots in the last five years.

Tags Sam Johnson San Bernardino Syed Rizwan Farook Tashfeen Malik

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

See all Hill.TV See all Video

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

Main area bottom

Top Stories

See All

Most Popular

Load more