The Obama administration's failure to enforce a new visa waiver law in order to appease Iran endangers America's security interests, Rep. John Katko said in Saturday's GOP address.
"I am a former federal prosecutor, and I can tell you a law is only as good as how you enforce it," the New York Republican said. "This is not a time to start lowering our guard. And we should not put Iran’s feelings before America’s security interests."
In December, the House passed a law tightening the waiver program so terrorists could not use it for passage into the United States. The law allows people from certain countries to come to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, making it easier for people from friendly nations such as Canada and Great Britain to come into the country.
The Islamic State, though, has been recruiting people from otherwise friendly countries, so the new rules say that people who have traveled to countries with significant terrorist activity at anytime after 2011 are not eligible to travel under the program.
"Unfortunately, the administration is now carving loopholes into the law," said Katko. "Last month, the administration announced that it would grant waivers to people engaged in journalism, humanitarian work, or, for people traveling to Iraq or Iran, 'legitimate business-related purposes.'"