White House Places More Stringent Rules on Visa Waivers

The White House on Monday announced a slew of new security efforts aimed at better vetting foreigners eligible to enter the country without visas, stepping in front of some lawmakers who want to curtail the program amid growing security concerns.

Citing the terrorist attacks this month in Paris and the “ongoing threat posed by foreign fighters,” the Obama administration has laid out 10 new steps to keep aspiring terrorists from exploiting the Visa Waiver Program, which allows people from 38 countries to enter the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain visas.

Besides keeping a closer eye on eligible travelers who have been to extremist hot spots like Syria and Iraq, the administration is mulling the idea of adding biometrics — such as fingerprinting and photographs — to the vetting process and ramping up penalties on airlines and partner countries that fall short on security.

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