Congress is considering new legislation that would require President Donald Trump to sanction any foreign government official involved in holding Americans hostage, a move that would prevent these foreigners and their family members from obtaining U.S. visas, according to congressional sources working on the bill.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) are spearheading the new legislation, which they say will apply needed pressure on any foreign government complicit in the taking of American hostages. A key mechanism in the legislation would ensure that foreign officials involved in hostage taking and their families do not enter the United States.
Many foreign officials and their family members from Iran, China, and other rogue nations routinely travel to the United States for lavish holidays and education at U.S. colleges. The lawmakers are seeking to crack down on this behavior.
Cruz recently found himself at the center of a diplomatic standoff with Tehran after it banned him and prominent Trump administration officials from traveling to Iran. Cruz, at the time, proposed legislation to reciprocate the ban, saying that the family members of prominent Iranian regime figures should not reap the benefits of the American education system.