House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to suspend the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for Chilean nationals following a rise in burglaries and other crimes in southern California.
- The VWP allows people from participating countries to travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa but has specific information-sharing requirements and agreements that Chile has not met.
- The program’s suspension would allow U.S. law enforcement officials to run criminal background checks on Chileans who have entered the country.
What they’re saying: Speaker McCarthy said that if Secretary Mayorkas does not suspend Chileans, Congress will ban government spending for the VWP program.
This issue has bipartisan support as House Democrats Rep. Lou Correa (CA) and Rep. Mike Levin (CA) also raised concerns in a letter to the Ambassador of Chile about the rise in burglary tourism in Orange County, California, by Chileans.
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