Calls for immediate suspension of Visa Waiver Program
A member of the US Congress is calling for an immediate suspension of the Visa Waiver Program for countries that have large numbers of its citizens fighting alongside groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). That includes, among others, Germany, the UK and France.
A member of the Democratic Party, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii is a former Army National Guard captain who served two tours of duty in the Middle East.
“As things presently stand, Islamic extremists holding British, German, French or other European passports can simply get on a plane and fly to America without a visa,” she says. “The safety and security of Americans should be of the highest priority and this Visa Waiver Program puts the American people in great danger.”
Some 38 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which is administered by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Citizens of these countries are allowed to travel to the United States and stay for up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa.
Gabbard adds: “I urge the Administration to immediately suspend the Visa Waiver Program for countries such as Great Britain, Germany and France, which have thousands of citizens fighting alongside Islamic extremist groups like ISIL, in the Middle East or around the world. By suspending the Visa Waiver Program, all visitors from these countries will have to go through a visa application process before they are allowed to step on US soil. Simultaneously, I will work with my colleagues to take action in Congress to address this issue and plug this gaping hole in our national security.”
[pictured: Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas]