Today, December 9, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by an overwhelming majority of 407 to 19, a Visa Waiver Program reform Bill.
According to a report by CNN this morning,
“It would increase information sharing between the US and over three dozen nations where passport holders are allowed to visit America without a visa”
This principle of this Bill is its tightening of the terrorism screening requirements on travelers coming to the U.S. from Europe.
In this bill, any traveler who has visited any of the 38 visa waiver countries, including those under concern, such as Iraq, Syria, Sudan, or Iran, during the past five years must obtain a visa to enter the country.
“This legislation will help close gaping security gaps and improve our ability to stop dangerous individuals before they reach our shores,” said Republican Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Although this measure could have the possibility of decreased international travel to the U.S., costing the economy money, U.S. Travel Association commends the measure, stating that travel security and safety is their top priority.
In a press release, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow stated,
“When it comes to travel and tourism, nothing is more important than security. We urge Congress to enact this legislation.”