Visa Waiver Program: Mitigating Risks to Ensure Safety of All Americans, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, September 24, 2008   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the opening statement of Dianne Feinstein: "This afternoon, we are here once again to look at what is being done or not done to ensure the safety of the Visa Waiver Program. I have long expressed my concern that the Visa Waiver Program is the soft underbelly of this Nation's immigration system because it offers an opportunity for people to come into the United States to do us grievous injury without knowledge. Travelers from visa waiver countries not only bypass the interview and individualized security screening process, but as the GAO [Government Accountability Office] report confirms, they are also lost once they arrive in the United States. This problem is exasperated because DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is only checking if and when individuals depart at our airports, so if you have 16 million people coming into the country in a given year and you only check those who leave, you never know how many came in and disappeared. I have held multiple hearings over several years, and time and time again, I repeat my frustrations, and yet there seems to be no improvement, no change in how the Department implements this program. Current law requires that before DHS admits any new countries into the Visa Waiver Program, it must: one, put in place a fully operational electronic travel authorization system for all travelers from visa waiver countries; and, two, verify the departure of 97 percent of foreign travelers leaving U.S. airports." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Dianne Feinstein, Jon Kyl, Stewart Baker, and Jess T. Ford.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 110-674; Senate Hearing 110-674; Serial No. J-110-121
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html
Media Type:
Help with citations