A bill designed to stop the Obama Administration from lifting a 31 year prohibition on Libyan nationals coming to the United States to attend flight schools and other related activities cleared the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Protecting the Homeland Act (H.R. 5401) by a 21-11 vote. The bill is designed to stop the Obama Administration from lifting a 31 year prohibition on Libyan nationals from coming to the United States to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science.
The bill was authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
Advertisement - story continues below
Gowdy praised his fellow committee members for passing the bill in a press release Wednesday, “The chief responsibility of government is the security of its people, and as those entrusted to govern, we must be vigilant in fulfilling this duty.”
“The Administration has not been clear as to why repealing this longstanding rule now, while the situation in Libya is more uncertain and dangerous, will benefit our national security.”
Goodlatte said in a statement Wednesday it would be “unconscionable” for the Obama administration to lift the ban on Libyan nationals.
“The Obama Administration justifies its plan by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has ‘normalized, but it is anything but normal.”
Chaffetz wrote that Libya “is far from normal and remains vulnerable to unchecked terrorist activity,” in a statement after the vote Wednesday.
The prohibition of Libyan nationals from taking part in flight-related activities took effect in 1983 after a wave of terrorist incidents involved Libyans. The abstract of the rule that will end the prohibtion, released by the the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, reads:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain studies or training in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields. The United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted.
Once Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson signs the regulation, it will take effect unless further action is taken.