Equal Protection in Travel Act of 2016

November 30, 2017
February 3, 2016
Referred to House (sub)committee

This bill would largely repeal a controversial provision of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (*H.R. 2029 of 4/24/15), which originated in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act (VWP) of 2015 (H.R. 158 of 1/6/15). The provision in question would block visa-free entry to the U.S. for passport-holders of the VWP’s 38 participating countries if they hold dual citizenship with or have traveled, since 3/2011, to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, or other countries determined by the secretary of state to have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” H.R. 4380 would remove the prohibition for persons holding dual citizenship in 1 of the restricted countries, allowing them to participate in the VWP.

In a press release announcing the bill, Amash explained that the dual citizenship restriction “could directly impact American citizens and other nationals because the VWP is based on reciprocity” and that U.S. allies would likely enact similar restrictions on U.S. citizens in response. His comments echoed complaints from numerous human rights organizations and other NGOs, who also criticized the travel-related restriction on the grounds that it could disproportionately affect journalists.

27 cosponsors (26D, 1R).

Last major action: 2/3/16 referred to House Subcomm. on Immigration and Border Security.

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