Tags: Mass Shootings | visa | waiver | gop | address | miller

Rep. Candice Miller: Visa-Waiver Program 'a Major Weakness' for US

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By    |   Saturday, 05 Dec 2015 09:46 AM

There is a "major weakness" in the U.S. visa-waiver program that could give terrorists easy access to the United States, House Administration Committee Chairman and Homeland Security Committee Vice Chair Candice Miller warned in Saturday's GOP address.

"The members of ISIS will use every means within their power to attack our country," the Michigan Republican said. "That's why we have to use every means within our power to defend it."

Miller is working with colleagues for a bill strengthening the security of the visa-waiver program, and preparing legislation to allow Homeland Security to suspend a country's participation in the program if it does not give the information to stop terrorists from coming to the United States.

The bill also disqualifies anyone who has traveled to Syria or Iraq from using the program at all, Miller said, but they would instead have to get a visa and go through security steps.

The bill also codifies Homeland Security's practice of collecting more biographical data from people wishing to come into the United States without a visa.

"As Americans, we live in a free and open society, and terrorists are looking for any and every opportunity to exploit those freedoms and use them against us, so we need to think clearly," said Miller.

The visa-waiver program allows people from other friendly countries to visit the United States, she explained, and citizens from participating countries can come to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa This means that there are no in-person interviews at a U.S. embassy.

There are 38 participating countries, including Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, and the program helps promote tourism while creating jobs for Americans.

However, ISIS is recruiting people from the same countries, and the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks last month was a Belgian citizen, Miller said.

And while the Department of Homeland Security checks all visa applicants against the federal terrorism databases, other countries don't often share all the necessary information.

"The gunman who tried to overrun a Paris-bound train in August is really a prime example," said Miller. "European authorities had been watching him for some time. But they never alerted the United States."

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There is a major weakness in the U.S. visa-waiver program that could give terrorists easy access to the United States, House Administration Committee Chairman and Homeland Security Committee Vice Chair Candice Miller warned in Saturday's GOP address.
visa, waiver, gop, address, miller
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2015-46-05
Saturday, 05 Dec 2015 09:46 AM
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