WASHINGTON -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar is among a large bipartisan group of senators attempting to overhaul the the country's visa waiver program in hopes of thwarting potential foreign fighters -- who may have European passports -- from entering the United States.
The Visa Waiver Program Security Enhancement Act attempts to address loopholes between the stringent requirements in place for refugees to enter the country versus the somewhat facile rules for people with so-called "friendly country passports" to enter into the United States as guests for 90 days or less.
Currently 38 countries, mostly strong allies of the United States, participate in the current waiver program.
The proposed bill will strengthen the security of the program by requiring visitors additional biometric information, including fingerprints, and require those who have visited Syria or Iraq previously to acquire a traditional tourist visa.
The bill also mandates increased intelligence sharing between the U.S. and participating countries.
"While we have increased the security measures accompanying the Visa Waiver Program, there are ways we can make it even more secure," Klobuchar said, in a statement.
Supporting the proposal are Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Sens. Ron Johnson, Dan Coats and Jeff Flake, among others.
This continues work on Capitol Hill to strenghten security after the terrorist attacks in Paris last month. The House passed a bill before Thanksgiving that puts additional restrictions on refugees attempting to gain entry into the United States from Syria and Iraq.
That bill was vehemently opposed by the White House, yet garnered the support of several House Democrats including Reps. Tim Walz, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson.