Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), a member of the Chairmen’s Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Improvement Act of 2015:

“Today we know that up to 5,000 Europeans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIS.  We can’t allow these foreign fighters easy access to the United States.  

“This bipartisan, common-sense bill will bolster our defenses.  It will ensure that those who’ve traveled to a terror hotspot receive thorough background checks before being cleared to travel to the U.S.  And it will give our law enforcement new tools to detect fraud and stolen passports.

“The Visa Waiver Program is good for America’s economy and good for our leadership overseas.  We must strengthen it by shutting it to those who would do us harm.  I urge the Senate to take up this important legislation quickly, and send it to the president’s desk.”

NOTE:  Chairman Royce, a cosponsor of H.R. 158, spoke in support of the legislation on the House floor shortly before today’s vote.  Watch the video HERE.