Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement in response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano’s announcement designating Taiwan for Visa Waiver Program (VWP) status:

“Taiwan’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program is long overdue. It is an appropriate designation and apt status for a country with whom we share such strong economic and cultural ties. The free flow of Taiwanese visitors to our country will deepen the bond between the United States and our Democratic ally Taiwan.”

In recent months, Berman has advocated on behalf of the Taiwanese-American community at both the state and Federal level. In May, Berman compelled the California state government to change its online voter registration system to allow Taiwanese-Americans to list “Taiwan” as their country of birth, rather than “Taiwan, Province of China.” Additionally, in July, U.S. Homeland Security Department agreed, at Berman’s request, to change I-94 customs document reflecting “Taiwan” as Country of Citizenship, not “China (Taiwan)”