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Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015: Positive Impact on National Security or Ineffective Legislation?, Journal of International Law and Commerce

Fall 2017

You are a newly radicalized terrorist holding an e-passport from any one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP"). You do not have a history of travel to "countries of concern" such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen. You have sufficient funds to purchase a roundtrip ticket. You intend on traveling to the United States ("US") through a land port of entry to carry out an attack on domestic soil. Why not use the VWP and enter the US with minimum scrutiny?

The focus of this paper will be to examine whether the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 ("the Act") will have a significant, positive impact on the national security of the United States. This paper will show that the VWP is an efficient system, with multiple layers of security embedded into the process. However, despite the Act's intention to prevent terrorist travel to the US, there are still significant security gaps which must be closed before the VWP can reach its full potential. The primary criticism is that the nationality of terrorists who have carried out the deadliest attacks on the US do not match the nations deemed "countries of concern" in the Act.

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