Posted on April 14, 2024

Biden Admin Defends Chinese Visa Exemption as Republicans Warn ‘Loophole’ Risks National Security

Brooke Singman and Adam Shaw, Fox News, April 9, 2024

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defending a 2009 decision that allows Chinese nationals to enter U.S. territory without a visa based on a perceived “significant public benefit,” while Republicans blast the “loophole” as a way for members of the Chinese Communist Party to “infiltrate” the United States and put national security at risk.

DHS penned a letter to Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., in response to their request for information about the influx of Chinese immigration to U.S. territory Guam. Republican lawmakers have warned that influx poses a risk to national security due to the U.S. military bases on the island.

Guam hosts Naval Base Guam, the Navy’s only submarine base in the western Pacific, as well as Anderson Air Force Base, which is large enough to host U.S. strategic bombers and fighters.

The lawmakers have been calling for the Biden administration to close what they call a “visa loophole” that they view as “exacerbating” the issue of illegal immigration to Guam from China.

But DHS is defending the policy that protects the so-called loophole.

“As you note, a foreign citizen generally must obtain a visa to enter the United States, including its territories,” wrote Zephranie Buetow, DHS’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs. “However, Public Law 110-229, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), established the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Visa Waiver Program codified at Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(l).”

“The CNRA requires DHS to identify countries from which the CNMI receives a ‘significant economic benefit’ from the number of visitors for pleasure within the year preceding enactment,” Buetow continued, adding that DHS determined that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) “met this economic threshold in 2009.”


Ernst told Fox News Digital that the Chinese Communist Party “has already proven they will stop at nothing to infiltrate the United States, and that threat is increasing every day as Chinese nationals use a visa loophole to gain access to our critical military installations in Guam.”

“We must change this visa policy and put an end to Chinese nationals accessing our homeland for any malign activity,” she said.