Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have obtained an internal Department of Homeland Security draft final regulation that would lift a 20 year ban on Libyans coming to the US to work in sensitive fields.
The document — highlighted Thursday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz — shows that DHS is working to amend its regulations to eliminate the restrictions on Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities from coming to the United States to work in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or to study nuclear-related fields.
“It is shocking that the Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today,” Goodlatte said in a statement. “Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi.”
“We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama Administration is preparing to lift a longstanding ban that protects Americans and our interests,” he added.
The document justifies rescinding the ban with the idea that the U.S. government and the Libyan government have “normalized” their relationship and that most of the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N on Libya have been lifted.
According to Goodlatte and Chaffetz, however, threats from Libya remain, especially given the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
“In the weeks and months leading up to the attacks in Benghazi, the Obama Administration ignored looming terrorist threats. It is unbelievable that this Administration would again put Americans in harm’s way by lifting a decades old security ban on a country that has become a hotbed of terrorist activity,” Chaffetz said. “We must work with the Libyans to build mutual trust that ensures safety and prosperity for both countries to enjoy.”
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.