Gabbard against visa-free travel for Europeans

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

WASHINGTON: Citing the presence of a large number of Islamist extremists in European countries, a Democratic lawmaker has sought an immediate suspension of visa-free travel to the US from countries like Britain, Germany and France.

“I urge the Administration to immediately suspend the Visa Waiver Program for countries such as Great Britain, Germany and France, which have thousands of citizens fighting alongside Islamic extremist groups like ISIL, in the Middle East or around the world,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said.

Gabbard, a Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, is the first ever Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress.

“As things presently stand, Islamic extremists holding British, German, French or other European passports can simply get on a plane and fly to America without a visa. This Visa Waiver Program puts the American people in great danger,” said Gabbard, who as an Army National Guard captain served two tours of duty in the Middle East.

“By suspending the Visa Waiver Program, all visitors from these countries will have to go through a visa application process before they are allowed to step on US soil. Simultaneously, I will work with my colleagues to take action in Congress to address this issue and plug this gaping hole in our national security,” she said.

The Visa waiver Program, administered by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, has 38 countries participating in it.

The program enables eligible citizens or nationals of those countries to travel to the US and stay for up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa. -PTI

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