(Photo Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid) The United States House of Representatives may be voting next week on a measure that will make strict U.S. border controls. The measure is introduced after the Paris terrorist attacks in November and the tightening of the border control would enact strict entry requirements for people that travel from countries that have visa requirements waived.
According to Reuters, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy while being on CNN stated “Now we are looking at the visa waiver program – those gaps and vulnerabilities in that. You are going to see a bill roll out later this week and pass next week as well.” He also announced on Fox Business Network that the bill would be introduced on Thursday and that he expects that it would pass with a strong bipartisan support of both Republicans and Democrats in the Republican led House of Representatives.
Congressional aides and legislators have stated that in case the visa measure is not approved as a standalone bill, it could be put into a spending bill that is expected to be passed by the 11th of December in order to avert a government shutdown.
The measure comes in time when United States officials are searching for ways to stop extremists from entering the United States and stop a scenario like the one that happened in Paris on the 13th of November, which left 130 people dead. The attacks were orchestrated by the extremist organization Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which has threatened with more attacks on the West and the United States.
The Obama administration also announced changes in the visa waiver program, allowing people who travel from 38 countries mainly from Western Europe to enter the United States without obtaining visa right before their travel. This program is used by 20 million travelers each year and gives them the possibility to stay up to 90 days on United States territory.
The changes will include tighter screenings by security official of people who have been travelling to countries like Syria and Iraq and will be able to collect their information.
However, according to Reuters, Republicans are eager to go even further in the changes and House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that they are willing to require countries from the visa waiver program “to issue smart e-passports with biometric chips” and screening travelers with database of lost and stolen passports and criminals.
The United States Senate also has a measure that would require travelers from the visa waiver countries to give their fingerprints and photos if they have been visiting Syria and Iraq in the last five years.
The House passed a measure that would tighten the screening process of Syrian refugees that are seeking to enter the United States in 2016. President Barack Obama has threatened the Congressional legislation with a veto, but Republicans say that would include the measure in the spending bill if Obama decides to veto it.