Press Releases

Rep. Peters Intros Bill to Revoke Passports of Americans Fighting for ISIS; Comes Same Week Two U.S. Suspects Attempted to Travel to Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late yesterday, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) re-introduced H.R. 2020, the “Treason and Passport Revocation Act” with support from Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), just days after two Minneapolis men were arrested in San Diego when they attempted to cross into Mexico en route to Syria to fight for ISIS.

The bill would require the Secretary of State to deny or revoke passports of any individual who is determined to be a member of, or affiliated with, a foreign terrorist organization. It would also amend the United States Code to deem membership or affiliation with a foreign terrorist organization as an act of treason.

“Preventing terrorists from harming Americans is the most important job for Congress, and I’m proud to work with Congressman Vargas to reintroduce this important bill. As we’ve seen this week, the threat to our homeland is real and we must take action to stop these folks from returning here,” Rep. Peters said. “Those who side with terrorist organizations, be it ISIS, Al Qaeda, or others, should not be allowed to freely return to this country. We need to update our laws to reflect the new threats we face, which are more dangerous than ever given the ease of international travel.”

“During this time of heightened global security, Americans and other Westerners continue to leave their countries to fight for ISIS/ISIL in Iraq and Syria,” said Rep. Vargas. “An individual that sides with a terrorist organization loses the privilege of returning to this country for treason. Limiting  or revoking passports in this situation is a necessary measure to ensure they will not pose a threat to the lives of innocent Americans.”

Under current law, the Secretary of State has the authority to limit or revoke a passport of an applicant whose activities abroad are seen as a threat to U.S. national security. This bill would make it a requirement for the Secretary of State to limit or revoke the passport of those who are members or are affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations.