The House overwhelmingly passed legislation on Tuesday (407 to 19) that would overhaul the federal visa waiver program and bar those from Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Sudan, or those who have visited those countries in the last five years, from traveling to the United States without a visa.
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Action on the proposal comes in response to the recent attacks in Paris from ISIS operatives, and the shooting in California by a couple that expressed support for the terror group on social media.
“This will help neutralize the threat from foreign terrorists entering our country,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday.
The GOP proposal, which top House Democrats have endorsed, calls for greater sharing of information among the 38 countries that participate in the program with the United States. Currently those eligible can travel for limited time periods without having to apply for a visa. The bill would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to terminate any country’s participation in the program if it doesn’t adequately transmit data. It also looks to beef up efforts to detect fraud from those traveling with electronic passports.