Lawmaker: Time to make Europeans apply for visas

AP News
Posted: Sep 12, 2014 11:32 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House Democrat wants to suspend British, French and German citizens from visa-free travel to the U.S. because of "large numbers" of Islamic extremists.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii says Americans are in "great danger" because many Europeans can visit for up to 90 days by registering online. She singles out the EU's three biggest countries as concerns.

Lawmakers are seeking new security measures against Western passport-holders fighting with Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq. Most proposals would ban fighters from flying or revoke their passports.

Gabbard's proposal goes further. It would force thousands of tourists and business travelers contributing to America's economy to apply for visas.

It could lead to Europe cracking down on Americans because visa-free agreements are reciprocal. And it could complicate U.S. coalition-building efforts.