Washington, D.C. – Representatives Joe Wilson (R-SC), Senior Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), introduced the bipartisan ‘Revoking Entry Granted to Iranian Mullahs and Elites Act of 2022,’ or the ‘REGIME Act of 2022.’
The bill stands with the oppressed Iranian people by directing the Secretary of State to block Iranian officials in the government, security, military, and law enforcement sectors of the brutal regime from entry into the United States. These are the same officials involved in the arrests and murder of the Iranians who are so bravely protesting in support of their personal freedoms.
Equally important, this legislation also targets the family members of these Iranian regime members. None of these individuals should be allowed to enjoy the same freedoms in the U.S. as those being denied their own fellow citizens in Iran.
If the Secretary determines that any of these persons are in possession of a U.S. visa, then the visa will be revoked.
“The Iranian regime steals from and commits brutal atrocities against its citizens. Heroically, however, the Iranian people are standing up in the face of unthinkable dangers to advocate for basic human rights and dignity. It is wrong that corrupt regime officials and their family members would be awarded U.S. visas to enjoy the very freedoms they deny their citizens. I am grateful to introduce this bipartisan legislation which further underscores that nobody should be above the law, least of all the terrorist regime in Tehran,” said Congressman Wilson.
“Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror and its paramilitary terror arm, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has directly or through its proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), killed hundreds of Americans and attacked our bases in the region. Members of the Iranian regime cannot be trusted, nor should they be living the high life in the U.S. while oppressing their own people in Iran,” said Congressman Gottheimer. “I’m proud to cosponsor the bipartisan REGIME Act to ensure that these inhumane terrorist leaders of Iran never step foot on American soil.”
“The Iranian regime continues to deny its own people dignity and basic fundamental human rights. The same regime thugs who are complicit in the abuse, detention, or killing of peaceful protesters should not be allowed to send their own children and family members to study, live, and thrive here in the United States,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The REGIME Act will ensure U.S. visas issued to members of the Iranian regime and their families are immediately revoked so that these individuals cannot seek residency in and reap the benefits bestowed by the taxpayers of this country while continuing to deny those same opportunities to so many in their own country. I’m honored to stand with my colleagues and co-sponsor this important legislation.”
“The atrocities we have seen from the Iranian regime are nothing short of a violation of basic human rights and freedoms,” stated Congressman Gonzalez. “I am proud to join this bipartisan piece of legislation, which sends a message to the rest of the world that the United States government will not stand for this iniquity. The very same leaders who are complicit should not enjoy the same freedoms they themselves are suppressing in their own country.”
- Examples of those Iranians who have taken advantage of the freedoms we have fought so hard to preserve are numerous. Tzvi Kahn of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has noted, that there are “several children of Iranian leaders who attend America’s universities and pursue opportunities in U.S. job markets. Nevertheless, their parents belong to a regime that persistently calls for America’s destruction.” These immediate relatives include the children of Iran’s former Foreign Minister and Speaker of the Parliament.
- This bill would use authorities contained in section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022, which provides the Secretary with the authority to ban U.S. entry visas of foreign officials and immediate family members who ‘have been involved, directly or indirectly, in significant corruption, including corruption related to the extraction of natural resources, or a gross violation of human rights.’ These sanctions would be mandatory and could only be waived to comply with the visits to the United States in accordance with the United Nations Headquarters Agreement.
- See bill language here.