Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa

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King Introduces the Religious Worker Visa Reciprocity Act

Feb 12, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Steve King released the following statement after introducing H.R. 899, the Religious Worker Visa Reciprocity Act:

“In 1990 Congress created the R-1 nonimmigrant visa for religious workers,” said King. “This was created to help religious workers like priests, ministers, monks, nuns and other religious workers to come to the U.S. for up to three years to work for religious organizations. What started at a moderate growth rate for admissions has now skyrocketed. The most infamous of these acceptances was Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing.

The United States has the most generous immigration policy in the world. However, the generosity is being repaid with fraud and abuse. This is a sensible opportunity to narrow the R-1 visa and make a stand for religious freedom. All U.S. religious workers should have the same access to a foreign country as that country’s religious workers have to the U.S. This is a sensible solution that both limits waste, fraud and abuse by lowering the number of considered petitions and promoting religious freedom.”

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