September 27, 2017

Senator Hassan Highlights Importance of Visa Security Teams in the Long-Term Fight Against ISIS

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Senator Also Underlines Commitment to Ensuring FBI Has the Resources Necessary to Combat Domestic Terrorism

Click here for video of the hearing.

WASHINGTON – Today, at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on threats to the homeland, Senator Maggie Hassan highlighted the importance of Visa Security teams in the fight against ISIS, and emphasized her commitment to ensuring that the FBI has the resources it needs to combat domestic terrorism and keep Granite Staters and Americans safe, secure, and free.

Senator Hassan underlined the importance of addressing ISIS fighters once the so-called “caliphate” truly collapses. The Senator highlighted the importance of Visa Security teams in those efforts, which consist of trained counter-terrorism professionals who aid the State Department’s consular offices in decision-making about granting U.S. Visas to foreign nationals.

Senator Hassan asked Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, “Given the chance that many ISIS foreign fighters will return to their home countries, it's going to be even more important that we have these visa security teams at more than 30 US diplomatic posts where they are currently deployed. Can you commit to expanding the number of posts at which visa security teams are located?” Acting Secretary Duke agreed on the importance of Visa Security teams and said that they have been “very useful” to the Department of Homeland Security in the fight against ISIS. The Senator also noted that her staff is working with the Chairman and Ranking Member staff to expand the number of posts where Visa Security teams are located.

In the wake of the domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville over the summer, Senator Hassan reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring that the FBI has the resources it needs to combat domestic terrorism so that all Granite Staters and Americans can be safe and free. Senator Hassan stated, “I also am concerned about making sure that we are doing everything we can to go after these domestic terrorism groups who promote violence… We want to make sure that we are giving [the FBI] the appropriate tools, recognizing the complexity of the domestic situation, but also the real danger of these terrorist groups.”

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