US Knee-Jerk Reaction affecting travellers world wide

This is amazing and seems like a typical knee-jerk reaction. If you consider the 14 people murdered in the San Bernardino terrorist attack recently in California, was a US citizen of Pakistani descent and a Pakistani born permanent resident of the US, which is a country not on this list, it seems like it misses the mark. Considering terrorists can come from any country because of radicalization over the internet there is no such thing as a proper list to thwart potential attacks. What is really troubling is the fact some countries in this list, such as Iran makes a person a citizen just by birth if the father is a citizen. And you can’t really renounce the citizenship. This “could” impact Canadian born citizens who happen to have a father that is a Iranian citizenship who for all intents and purposes have never been to Iran and never plan to go to Iran. I have read that reports from the BBC quoting how this affects UK citizens and other european citizens. I am not 100% sure if it affects Canadians but I can’t see anything that says it would be any different. But even if it didn’t the fact Europeans are directly affected is just as troubling. Ive quoted key points from the article and suggest readers here also read it in its entirety.

Quotes taken in part from

For more than 25 years, the Visa Waiver Program has allowed people from a select list of countries, currently 38 nations long, to travel to the U.S. without a visa. Those countries, in turn, must reciprocate, allowing Americans the same privilege on their own soil. Today, 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.

This is worse than it sounds, because at least two of those countries, Iran and Syria, deem people to be nationals, regardless of where they were born or live, if their fathers are citizens. So it’s possible that someone who is a citizen of one of the countries on the visa-free travel list — the United Kingdom, say — and who lives there and grew up there and has never visited another country, could end up denied entry to the U.S. because of a parent born in Iran or Syria.

“Targeting people who are dual nationals is particularly discriminatory and unjust, since dual nationality is not something you choose,” Abdi said. “Under this legislation, if you’re a European of Iranian origin or your father is an Iranian citizen, you wouldn’t be able to travel without a visa to the United States. As we’ve already heard from the EU, this would trigger reciprocal measures that would result in the passports of Iranian-Americans being treated as inferior, essentially putting them in a category of second-class citizenship.”

The bill approved by the House earlier this month, HR-158, which is related to the legislation approved today, was initially written for the narrow and reasonable purpose of blocking or restricting from U.S. entry individuals who traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria or Iraq. But provisions later added by Republican lawmakers made the legislation more draconian, including by imposing restrictions involving entire countries — official “state sponsors of terrorism” like Iran and Sudan. (In those two countries, at least, the Islamic State is nonexistent.)

There is of course much more to the article and I encourage readers to go read it in its entirety before commenting.

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