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house Bill H.R. 145

Revoking the Passports of Members & Affiliates of Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Argument in favor

Revoking the U.S. passport of someone who has joined or supported a terrorist group will keep America safe, and making their passport only valid for travel back into the U.S. will bring them right into the hands of law enforcement.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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02/03/2019
IT’S COMMON SENSE TO REVOKE THE PASSPORTS OF TERRORISTS The Revoking the U.S. passport of someone who has joined or supported a terrorist group is common sense which will keep America safe. By the making their passport only valid for travel back into the U.S. will bring them right into the hands of U.S. law enforcement agencies . SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👏🏻👍🏻👏🏻👍🏻. 2*3*19...........
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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02/03/2019
You are telling me that the State Department doesn’t do this already???? If this is true a full audit of passport rules should be performed.
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Ritch's Opinion
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02/03/2019
Overall I’m in agreement with this bill. I am concerned that some nonviolent groups may be listed as a terrorist organization. We should allow freedom of speech, even when we don’t like what is said, providing it is not inciting riots, destruction of property or other criminal behavior.
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Argument opposed

Potential terrorists will try to workaround having their passports revoked by obtaining falsified passports. And, if the would-be terrorists have second thoughts, revoking their passports may cut off their only way to escape.

Ronald's Opinion
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02/03/2019
The most common terrorist attacks on American soil are perpetrated by US citizens. White Nationalist in their various forms have attacked and killed more Americans on US soil than any other group or nationality. Let’s focus on the bad actors most likely to affect our lives first. The terrorist that lives in my community who looks like me, worships like me and never gets a second look from anyone is the one I worry about. I would rather have law enforcement flagging people on the terrorist watch list who try and enter using their real identification than have them trying to spot faked or stolen identification. Fighting the extremism in our own society will yield the most results for our present and future safety.
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IllWill's Opinion
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02/03/2019
We’re talking about American citizens here. Will there be any due process or can the Secretary of State just revoke the passport whenever they feel like. If there is evidence they need to be able to come back to the country, be arrested, tried, and if guilty, convicted and sentenced because that’s how the process works in a civilized country.
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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02/03/2019
In what court is this tried? How can a wrongfully targeted person regain their freedom? What evidence (or lack thereof) is required in order for you to revoke someone's right to movement? Is this just an upgrade of the totally unconstitutional No-Fly List? Read your fifth amendment and get back to me.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 145?

This bill would amend the Passport Act of 1926 to prohibit the Secretary of State from issuing a passport or passport card to any member, affiliate, or supporter of a foreign terrorist organization.

People who fit the above criteria could also have a passport or passport card that they already have revoked that by the Secretary of State. Before revoking the passport, the Secretary would be authorized to:

  • Limit a previously issued passport or passport card only for return travel to the U.S.

  • Issue a limited passport or passport card that only permits return travel to the U.S.

Persons whose passports are revoked, denied, or limited would have the ability to seek a review by the State Department within 60 days of receiving the notice.

Exceptions could be made in emergencies or for humanitarian reasons allowing for the issuance of a passport or passport card.

Impact

People holding U.S. passports who have joined, aided, or are affiliated with a foreign terrorist organization; the State Department and the Secretary of State.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 145

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) introduced this bill, along with seven others, on the first day of the 116th Congress in order to address a number of his constituents' concerns:

"We must protect our homeland and bring violent and radical terrorists to justice. One way to do this is by authorizing the revocation or denial of U.S. passports and passport cards to individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations (FTO). Through this legislation, the Secretary of State can refuse to issue a passport to an individual who has aided, assisted, abetted, or helped a foreign terrorist organization determined by the Secretary. This bill is critical to helping law enforcement locate these terrorists and ensuring radical extremists don’t threaten our way of life at home.”

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced this in the previous Congress bill to allow for the revocation, denial, or limitation of passports of American citizens who are affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations:

"This bill will help law enforcement locate these individuals by preventing them from travelling internationally so that they can be captured and brought to justice. Most importantly, this legislation will prevent turned Americans from entering the United States undetected.  These people are not returning to America to open coffee shops; they are coming back to kill. We must stop them from coming back at all."
The Brookings Institution estimated that as of September 2014 there were more than 100 Americans who joined extremist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria. It is speculated that about 12 of them have joined ISIS. In April 2015, six people in Minnesota and San Diego were arrested by the FBI for attempting to secure falsified passports and travel to Syria, with intentions to join ISIS.

This bill has five cosponsors, including four Republicans and one Democrat, in the current Congress. Last Congress, this legislation passed the House on a voice vote with the support of two cosponsors in the House, Reps. Bill Keating (D-MA) and Joe WIlson (R-SC). During 113th session of Congress, a nearly identical version of this bill passed the House by voice vote before stalling in the Senate.


Of NoteCanada has already started revoking the passports of citizens who have joined extremist groups, despite concerns that it would eliminate the ability of those who have second thoughts from returning home.

The British have attempted to deal with this problem with proposal to strip UK passport holders of their passport for up to 30 days if they attempt to leave and join terror groups, and then bar them from returning for two to three years.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user bewmies)

AKA

FTO Passport Revocation Act of 2019

Official Title

To authorize the revocation or denial of passports to individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, and for other purposes.

    IT’S COMMON SENSE TO REVOKE THE PASSPORTS OF TERRORISTS The Revoking the U.S. passport of someone who has joined or supported a terrorist group is common sense which will keep America safe. By the making their passport only valid for travel back into the U.S. will bring them right into the hands of U.S. law enforcement agencies . SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👏🏻👍🏻👏🏻👍🏻. 2*3*19...........
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    The most common terrorist attacks on American soil are perpetrated by US citizens. White Nationalist in their various forms have attacked and killed more Americans on US soil than any other group or nationality. Let’s focus on the bad actors most likely to affect our lives first. The terrorist that lives in my community who looks like me, worships like me and never gets a second look from anyone is the one I worry about. I would rather have law enforcement flagging people on the terrorist watch list who try and enter using their real identification than have them trying to spot faked or stolen identification. Fighting the extremism in our own society will yield the most results for our present and future safety.
    Like (145)
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    We’re talking about American citizens here. Will there be any due process or can the Secretary of State just revoke the passport whenever they feel like. If there is evidence they need to be able to come back to the country, be arrested, tried, and if guilty, convicted and sentenced because that’s how the process works in a civilized country.
    Like (63)
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    In what court is this tried? How can a wrongfully targeted person regain their freedom? What evidence (or lack thereof) is required in order for you to revoke someone's right to movement? Is this just an upgrade of the totally unconstitutional No-Fly List? Read your fifth amendment and get back to me.
    Like (59)
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    You are telling me that the State Department doesn’t do this already???? If this is true a full audit of passport rules should be performed.
    Like (41)
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    This is a slippery slope. How long till government agencies start labeling their own citizens as domestic terrorists to keep them contained in the country.
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    Isn’t this a violation of due process?
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    And why wasn't this done ten years ago?
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    To my representatives I’m asking that you vote against this bill primarily because of the apparently arbitrary and capricious manner in which it can be applied — moreover it undermines the legitimacy and credibility of the US Passport as a creditable international credential and subjects US Citizens traveling abroad to the same arbitrary and superficial revocations of our credentials based on little more than suspicion or pretext. Any such notion about America passports is short sighted, superficial, and last but not least insulting to long established norms that undermine our immigration system. To my fellow Americans we must unite and strongly reject all the lowbrow nonsense coming from our government at all levels in this arena. It truly threatens our democracy for no good reason.
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    It was not that long ago that Amnesty International was considered a “terrorist organization”! This leaves way too much room for labeling of anyone in opposition to anything. How long before our constitutional right to protest - already often deemed illegal - also makes us “terrorists”?!
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    Overall I’m in agreement with this bill. I am concerned that some nonviolent groups may be listed as a terrorist organization. We should allow freedom of speech, even when we don’t like what is said, providing it is not inciting riots, destruction of property or other criminal behavior.
    Like (23)
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    Talk about a slippery slope....there is no limit to how this change to existing passport law, in the hands of the wrong people (i.e., officials of the current or other similarly focused future administrations) could be used to “identify” any number of innocent folks as “terrorists” and remove their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom from search and seizure and to move freely in this country without fear! I do wish that our lawmakers would fully examine the impacts of their attempts to modify existing law before presenting such bills for consideration. Just because our Department of Homeland Security can track suspicious individuals does not ensure that the individuals they track are real terrorists! Even DHS has made mistakes, and when they do innocent folks suffer! If you will read this NBC article, I think you will understand the real motivation behind this foolish bill: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-report-says-most-u-s-terrorists-foreign-born-check-n838041
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    As another app user, Cristina, so wisely stayed, since the majority of terrorist acts in the USA are perpetrated by “white” American men, the real solution to the problem is gun regulation, not more xenophobia. Reminds me of the McCarthy era with hysteria about Communism. The distortions about immigrants would be funny if so many uninformed people did not believe them. Asylum seekers and refugees are dying because of hysteria and paranoia whipped up by so many in the Republican Party and by our impaired and corrupt ostensible president. No!
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    Ok, so you cannot come to an agreement on what to do about the undocumented and you want us to grant you additional oversight to negotiate the documented⁉️Are you all bloody nuts. Apply a competency framework to your thinking, seek professional help for your hallucinations, and then resign, please.
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    Would this include revoking the passports of the Trump family for their business relationships with terrorists from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and North Korea?
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    This is a no brainer, why would we allow people like that to travel in our country or abroad. They should be in GITMO. #MAGA
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    Love it, Cndrla! How has this already not been done?
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    In theory this practice sounds great. HOWEVER, there appears nothing to indicate “due process” has been enacted. These days, with an administration led by someone with dreams of authoritarian power and a large Congressional representation turning their backs on their oversight responsibilities and courts packed with such sympathizers, the enactment of such legislation sets too many alarms off for me!
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    If they are foreign citizens whom also hold a US passport then by all means revoke the passport and forbid travel into the US. But that does not sound like what this bill is aimed at. To me his bill leaves too much of a great area which would allow the Bad actors to abuse this law to persecute people.
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    These persons deserve due process. They must be tried in a court of law.
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