GOP Rep. Says Obama Visa Waiver Changes ‘Clearly Outside the Rule of Law’

Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images
Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) has filed a resolution to censure and condemn President Obama over his administration’s move to exempt certain travelers to the U.S. who have recently been to Iran or other terrorist hotspots from the new, congressionally mandated, enhanced Visa Waiver Program security measures.

According to Ross, Obama’s changes were “clearly outside the rule of law.”

Congress passed the enhancements to the Visa Waiver Program — which allows foreign nationals from 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa — as both a stand alone bill and with the FY2016 Omnibus bill in December.

While the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act mandated that dual nationals and travelers who recently visited countries of concern obtain a visa, last month the Obama administration unveiled changes to the VWP that exempted large swaths of travelers who have recently traveled to Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Sudan from that requirement.

Thursday Ross filed the simple resolution, “Condemning and censuring President Barack Obama.”

“By signing this legislation into law, the President took an oath to enact and uphold the laws within it,” Ross said in a statement. “However, he refuses to fulfill his Constitutional duty as President, and has decided to take the law into his own hands and placate to Iran’s deceptive intentions by allowing foreigners tied to terrorist hotspots like Iran to enter the U.S. without going through the extra layer of security screening as required by this law.”

The Floridian has not been alone in decrying the Obama administration’s changes to the law, a number of Republicans have publicly voiced their outrage at the actions. According to Ross, lawmaker the changes to the program show Obama “is clearly unconcerned with the safety of our nation, the American people and our allies.”

“Our Commander-in-Chief refuses to close vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program that have been identified by both Republicans and Democrats. In fact, his deliberate and dangerous actions put us directly in harm’s way and at risk for terrorist attacks,” Ross said.


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