VISA WAIVER PROGRAM GIVES A FREE RIDE TO RADICAL MUSLIMS
Introduction: Defending our southern border with Mexico is high priority and building a fence may be ambitious but remains the only effective way to prevent drug dealers and terrorists from entering the U.S. The biggest threat to our homeland security however may not come from Mexico or North Korea rather from Europe and is actually a lot easier to fix than building a 700 miles long fence. Thousands of radical Muslims and terrorists enter the U.S. from Europe legally. One executive order is enough to stop it.
Analysis: Most European countries are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver program. It allows citizens from friendly and developed countries to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. Since its launch in 1986 the program has increased trade and tourism dollars for the U.S. and is widely regarded as a success. What the program fails to identify is that citizens of European visa waiver countries may actually hold dual citizenships and passport from countries like Syria, Iran and Lybia. An Iranian clerk who holds an Iranian passport but lives in France can enter the U.S. without a visa by showing his French passport at the port of entry and leaving his Iranian one at home or just hide it in his pocket.
The visa waiver program in its current format is a threat to U.S. homeland security. Citizens from countries who would normally need a visa to enter the U.S. are permitted without one because they use a different passport. This is of particular concern for travelers from Europe as it is home to the largest Muslim population outside the Muslim world. France alone has 7 Million Muslims. Most European Muslims have dual citizenship. One passport from their (Muslim) country of origin and one from their (European) country of residence. Muslims in Europe are more radical than those in the U.S. due to its proximity to the Middle East and the generally liberal pro-Palestinian European media. In addition European Muslims are less integrated in society than in the U.S. and are consider underclass rather than middle class for most American Muslims. The Xmas bomber and the shoe bomber embarked their planes in Europe and several of the 9/11 terrorists resided in Germany for years. Making things worse is the fact that border security in the U.S. has traditionally focused on the port of entry not the port of exit. If a French national enters the U.S. under the visa waiver program and overstays his 90 day limit, he will still be able to leave the U.S. without being questioned by Homeland Security. Most international airports in the U.S. do not check visa status or criminal background of travelers leaving the U.S. rather they only match the passport name with the name on the boarding pass. The Time Square bomber was free to leave and did not get caught till after he boarded the plan. Most countries have similar security procedures at the port of entry as the port of exit. The U.S. does not.
Conclusion: The U.S. should consider suspending its Visa Waiver program till technology is available to identify alternate passports and citizenships for those traveling without a visa. In addition Homeland Security should start building an affective port of exit security system to verify immigrant status and criminal background of those leaving the U.S.