According to The Hill, Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) have re-filed a measure that is known as the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act that would expand the expand the State Department’s Visa Waiver Program, which currently allows tourists from 38 nations to visit the U.S. without obtaining a visa.
The Visa Waiver Program has come under fire by some recently who say the program could weaken national security by allowing for easy entry into the United States for people with Western passports. Experts disagree though. In a recent House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing, experts unanimously testified that the Visa Waiver Program is beneficial to both the economy and national security. It was more of the same at the Senate Subcommittee hearing as well – see the full testimony here.
The Visa Waiver Program brings millions of travelers to the United States annually and pumps billions of dollars into our economy. By facilitating travel and trade with 38 countries, the VWP spurs job creation and economic growth. The Visa Waiver Program positively impacts business travel, which accounted for an estimated $1.2 trillion dollars in global spending last year.
It is also a critical tool for American businesses involved in international trade. While the program is intended only to facilitate travel with allies, GBTA recognizes the potential security concerns to the United States. As such, GBTA appreciates the need for oversight of the program, but urges Congress to resist imposing burdensome changes that would impact the viability of the program.
GBTA’s Mike McCormick recently spoke with national correspondent Kristin Frazao about the Visa Waiver Program saying that while there will always be risk in any environment; these are programs that are vital to keeping the economy moving. They don’t compromise security and safety they’ve been well tested programs that have taken years and years to develop. Watch the full interview:
Learn more about the Visa Waiver Program: what it is, quick facts, eligibility and the process.
Also, check out this video on the VWP and its implications for national security:
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