President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is in Washington for a two-day visit, announced yesterday that they would begin work on bringing Brazil into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows tourists and business travelers to come to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. The expansion of Brazilian tourism that would result would be a big economic boost for the United States, especially for hard-hit Florida. The VWP, which is currently available mostly for citizens of advanced European countries, became controversial after 9/11 over concerns that terrorists or other serious criminals might be able to get into the United States without the scrutiny that faces visa applicants. But over the past decade, the program has been strengthened immensely, and the security screening is now as good or better than that for visa applicants. Yet Congress remains reluctant to authorize an expansion of the program. Foreign Affairs published today a piece I wrote, in which I lay out the issues at play and make the case for expanding the number of visa waiver countries. Read the full article.
LAST 5 POST BY Edward Alden
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- Faster, Safer, and Smarter: A Modern Visa System for the United States - January 26th, 2012
- US-VISIT Advances in Biometrics Tighten Border Security - January 5th, 2012
- Immigration: Politics and Facts Don't Match on the Border - December 21st, 2011