The attacks on America on September 11, 2001, were a wake-up call that the nation needed to be e stricter with immigration. Why is President Joe Biden now forgetting those lessons?
Biden is eyeing an expansion to the Visa Waiver Program despite warnings of past failures, Breitbart reported. The 9/11 Commission Staff Report found that the visa system was a vulnerability and urged it to be treated as a national security matter.
The last expansion to the countries in the VWP came from former President Donald Trump who added Poland as a VWP nation. This allows for nationals from those 39 countries to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
Now, Secretary of State Antony Blinken nominated Croatia as the 40th to receive the waiver. “While there are still several steps left to be completed in this process, including a final assessment of Croatia’s eligibility by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, I would like to congratulate Croatia on this important milestone and step forward in our relationship,” Blinken reportedly said in a statement.
However, the 9/11 Commission Staff Report suggested in 2004 that the system of credentialing foreign travelers should fall under the umbrella of homeland security. The logic dictates that people who are barred from entry in the first place won’t be in the country to carry out future attacks.
“Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal,” the report said. It noted that “even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy,” the report added.
“We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one,” the document concluded. Although the 9/11 hijackers were not here on VWP, there have been others who have used it to their advantage.
Zacarias Moussaou, the 9/11 conspirator currently serving a life sentence for his role in the attack, gained entry into the U.S. by having a French passport that gave him waiver entry. Likewise, the “Shoe Bomber” Richard Ried also used a British passport that gave him VWP status that allowed him to board the flight from the U.K. to Miami, Florida which was his intended target in 2001.
The number of foreigners allowed entry into the U.S. without proper vetting is concerning and should be treated as a national security interest. However, Biden has instead ignored the lessons of the past and decided to expand the number of nations whose people can come and go as they please.