Security and Hospitability Can Go Hand in Hand: Expand the Visa Waiver Program

Helle Dale /

When President Obama went public with his support for expansion of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) while in Poland last month, it was a long-overdue acknowledgement of not just Poland’s but Europe’s critical importance as an ally of the United States.

(It may of course also have been an acknowledgement of the importance of Polish-Americans for the presidential race, but that is another matter.)

Poland clearly deserves to be party to the VWP, which allows travelers from certain countries to enter the United States for 90-day visits for vacation or business without the hassle and expense of obtaining a visa. That Poland and European allies like Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia still remain outside the program is a public diplomacy issue that Congress needs to address. (Other countries merit consideration in the program—Chile, for instance.) (more…)