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Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Old May 2nd 2007, 2:00 pm
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Default Threat to Visa Waiver Program

The fallout from the recent terrorist trial in London could impact on us transatlantic pond hoppers according to this NY Times article

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/02/wo...ritain.html?hp

Faced with the prospect of the entire Visa Waiver Program under threat, the FCO recommended the USCIS deport Britons who 'fail' screening on arrival.

As the Dept of Homeland Security are reportedly waiting until Blair steps down before insisting on action, what might the future bring? Making British citizens of Pakistani descent apply to the US embassy for B2 visas will undoubtedly lead to delays for other visa applicants.

If the US single out a minority group of British Citizens in this fashion, apart from the message this sends out, it marks an unwelcome return of ethnic profiling to public discourse which has disturbing historical precedent. But neither would I want longer lines outside the US embassy. Gloom indeed.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

While in the UK political correctness dictates that you should never profile groups, here in the USA they are not afraid to do it. This will probably get me roasted on these forums, but I only speak of what I hear.

It would be a sad step back to profile groups. Before 9/11, this kind of thing almost became something of the past. However, evidence shows that it is people of Muslim descent that are mainly responsible for terrorism. However, it must be noted this is a minority of that group, that will ruin it for the majority.

While I am sorry to hear this news, I am in somewhat agreement with the US on this one.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Mmm, a pickle of a dilemma indeed.

Given that information is passed on flight / passenger lists etc., already I don't see what the difference is except tighter screening. If the US / UK lack confidence in their own current systems then I guess they are going to have to do something. I'm not sure sure tighter screening of "British Born" is going to pick up any more "potential" threats but what the heck do I know.

Also, it won't just be Britain. WHatever they change / implement will apply to all countries on VWP I'm sure.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

I'd hate to see the US follow the example of Middle Eastern countries who deny entry to anyone with an Israeli entry stamp in their passport.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
I'd hate to see the US follow the example of Middle Eastern countries who deny entry to anyone with an Israeli entry stamp in their passport.
Shame they never realise that Israel stamp a piece of paper that gets clipped into your passport if you request it...

And restrictions on the VWP would impact on the US going to the UK because it's a reciprical program, just like US students can't get travel visa's to go slobbing around the UK because UK students can't do the same in the US.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by PhilH930 View Post
While in the UK political correctness dictates that you should never profile groups, here in the USA they are not afraid to do it. This will probably get me roasted on these forums, but I only speak of what I hear.

It would be a sad step back to profile groups. Before 9/11, this kind of thing almost became something of the past. However, evidence shows that it is people of Muslim descent that are mainly responsible for terrorism. However, it must be noted this is a minority of that group, that will ruin it for the majority.

While I am sorry to hear this news, I am in somewhat agreement with the US on this one.
Funny how the US never required visas for Catholics when the IRA was bombing, but they'll contemplate it for UK Muslims
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Old May 2nd 2007, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

It ain't never gonna happen ..just more rhetoric ...
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Old May 2nd 2007, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by Ray View Post
It ain't never gonna happen ..just more rhetoric ...
Geez, I hope you are right!
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Old May 2nd 2007, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

I wouldn't worry about it too much...

Britain denies talks with U.S. on visa policy changes

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Old May 2nd 2007, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

"We flatly reject the notion of profiling based upon ethnicity, religion, sex, age, what have you. Country of origin as well," the spokesman told BBC radio. "We are pleased with the visa waiver program but we have been on record with our desire to strengthen the visa waiver program."
The VWP is profiling by its very definition.

"The suggestion that groups of British citizens of a particular background should be singled out was not made at the meeting and neither would it have been acceptable," she said.
Background does have an impact on ability to use the VWP.

I doubt if anything will happen in the current situation, but if the next few terrorist outrages relate to people who use the VWP, or walk in, or whatever, who knows?
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Old May 2nd 2007, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
I doubt if anything will happen in the current situation, but if the next few terrorist outrages relate to people who use the VWP, or walk in, or whatever, who knows?
Ultimately it's the call of the U.S. however the Foreign Office will undoubtedly point out in private that imposing a visa requirement on all British citizens would lead to a lot of anti-American feeling in what is one of the most significant allies for the United States.

It would also lead to pressure on the British government to retaliate with a visa requirement for U.S. citizens.

Of course the entire VWP system could be scrapped but unless the Americans were able to replace it with something like the Australian Electronic Travel Authority, that would be self-defeating as significant State Department resource would be diverted towards processing visa applications from relatively low risk nations.

One suspects that increased intelligence co-operation will be demanded as the price of continued VWP participation.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Relatively low risk is the important phrase.

And that is often a matter of political opinion - truthiness.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Funny how the US never required visas for Catholics when the IRA was bombing, but they'll contemplate it for UK Muslims
Thats a good point, but the IRA (from what I know) never bombed US soil.
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Old May 2nd 2007, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

Originally Posted by PhilH930 View Post
Thats a good point, but the IRA (from what I know) never bombed US soil.
All down to a certain family called Kennedy
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Old May 3rd 2007, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Threat to Visa Waiver Program

first thing you tell your kids when you live around here....don't get into ANYTHING that drives floats or flies with a Kennedy.....
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