House Homeland Security Committee Passes SIA-Backed Visa Bill

The Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act aims to improve visa applicant vetting and overall visa security measures.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday approved H.R. 5253, the Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act, which is aimed at improving visa applicant vetting and overall visa security measures. During markup of the bill, sponsor Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, thanked the Security Industry Association (SIA) for its support of the legislation.

In a letter to Rep. Hurd dated June 7, SIA CEO Don Erickson expressed SIA’s support for the measure.

“Among other provisions, the bill requires Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to utilize facial recognition technology to screen travelers at U.S. airports of entry, by ensuring a match between the individual and the digital photo stored on the secure embedded chip included within authentic U.S. passports. Despite the fact this information is already included in exiting passports, this screening is not done currently, leaving the U.S. open to passport fraud that could be exploited by terrorists to gain unlawful entry to the country,” Erickson wrote.
Strengthening visa integrity will help protect all Americans, and the federal government must be able to use reliable, readily available technologies.

SIA urges the full House to take up H.R. 5253 at its earliest opportunity.

About the Security Industry Association (SIA)

The Security Industry Association (SIA) ( is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with roughly 650 innovative member companies representing more than 400,000 security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, and owner of the Securing New Ground® conference, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.​