September 26, 2019

Van Hollen Secures Appropriations Measure Prohibiting US Visas for Foreign Officials of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt Responsible for Wrongful Detention of Americans

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed his amendment to deny U.S. visas to foreign officials from the governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt who are determined to be responsible for the wrongful detention of U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals abroad and locally employed staff at American diplomatic missions. The Senator’s amendment comes in response to the continued wrongful detentions of Americans and locally employed staff in these countries on trumped up charges, including criticism of these governments. The provision was passed today during the Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the FY 2020 State and Foreign Operations funding legislation.

“Our government needs to send a clear message – we will not tolerate the wrongful detention of Americans or the foreign nationals serving Americans at our diplomatic missions around the world. Following the actions taken by officials of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, this provision will do just that. I was pleased to secure bipartisan support for its inclusion, and I will continue fighting to protect Americans abroad,” said Senator Van Hollen.