WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles) – While Americans were camping out in movie theaters nationwide to be among the first to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ President Barack Obama signed new legislation that would discriminate against human beings — including U.S. citizens — based on national origin and travel history.
Both Houses of Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill intended to keep government services funded through September 2016. Tucked into this omnibus legislation are provisions that could undermine, on the basis of personal heritage, the ability of many American citizens to travel visa-free to countries in Europe and east Asia.
For more than 25 years, the Visa Waiver Program has allowed people from a select list of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa. Those countries, in turn, must reciprocate, allowing Americans the same privilege on their own soil. Congress voted to change the deal: People coming from countries covered under the Visa Waiver Program, including people who are citizens of those countries, will now need to get a visa if they are determined to be nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria, or if they have visited those countries since 2011.
So, if you’re a citizen of Germany whose parents were born in Sudan, or if you are a Japanese citizen who has previously travelled to Iran for business or tourism, then you would need a visa to visit the United States and will no longer be covered under the U.S. Visa. Waiver Program.
If you are an American citizen and a national of the above-named countries, you may soon face retaliatory travel restrictions when visiting friends and family abroad.
The visa wars have begun, and neither Dath Vadar nor Princess Leia could stop it.