Diary

Visa Waiver Program is Working

The Visa Waiver program is working, it doesn't need to be fixed again
The Visa Waiver program is working, it doesn’t need to be fixed again

When a program is working well, there is no need to fix it, especially it has been recently improved. Congress has made changes to improve the security of the Visa Waiver Program, and the changes should be allow to work before any effort to rewrite the law again. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the feds have beefed up a list of countries that will get you kicked out of the Visa Waiver Program.

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday added three countries to a growing list that would prohibit people who have visited those nations in the past five years from entering the United States without a visa. The new countries are Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The department indicated that other nations could be added,” The New York Times reported, “The Obama administration previously announced changes to the visa-waiver program that would make it harder for travelers to enter the United States from Europe if they had dual citizenship from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria, or had visited one of those countries in the last five years. The restrictions announced on Thursday would not apply to those with dual citizenship in Libya, Somalia or Yemen, the agency said.”

Anyone who does not qualify for the program will be put through a more vigorous screening process. The program allows for easier entry of persons from specified countries if they share information about the dangerous, potential terrorists, who may try and travel to the Untied States.


Brian McNicoll explains at Townhall.com that the improvements to the Visa Waiver Program that passed last December improve on a system of checks that is already quite comprehensive in scope.

Even those who receive visa waivers must go through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, which screens identities against multiple law enforcement and terrorism data bases that include information not only from us but from foreign governments as well. The program was improved just last August to further tighten passport requirements, codify air regulations and sketch out the role of air marshals,” McNicoll wrote.

If you travel to one of the banned nations, then you probably should not be allowed into the United States as a guest. Yet, our government should resist going too far and passing a blanket ban of travel from any country that has had terrorist acts occur in the nation. That would shut off virtually all travel.

The program consider 19 countries, out of which 10 were approved, McNicoll noted, and designated as “program countries,” allowing their citizens eligibility to enter the United States via the Visa Waiver program.

The program gives us leverage to insist on stringent security requirements from our allies, including counter-terrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards. Countries must ensure their passports and travel documents meet our technical anti-forgery standards, and these other countries’ operations are inspected regularly by American officials to ensure ongoing compliance,” McNicoll further outlined about the program.

The requirements of the program have been enforced, as noted by McNicoll, Argentina and Uruguay have been removed as program countries due to inadequate security procedures.

The Visa Waiver program is working, and further improvements have been made that will make it even more effective. The program works to keep Americans safe while also allowing the benefits of citizens from countries we’re allied with to come to the United States for business, leisure or other purposes. We should let the program work before fixing what clearly is not broken.