The Visa Waiver Program: Congress Should Strengthen a Crucial Security Tool

After the coordinated Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 that left 130 people dead, legislators and much of the public are once again worried about the threat that terrorists pose to the U.S. homeland. After considering legislation on the vetting process for Syrian refugees, Congress is now considering altering the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—an agreement that the U.S. currently has with 38 countries. Congress and all Americans should understand that the VWP does not mean that foreign travelers come to the U.S. unscreened. Quite the opposite: As the VWP provides U.S. officials with greater intelligence with which to stop known, and surveille suspected, terrorists. The VWP already provides immense security benefits to the U.S, and should be strengthened and judiciously expanded, not canceled or suspended.

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