A bill passed easily through the House of Representatives on Dec. 8 that would require those who are from or have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or the Sudan from traveling to the United States without a visa, overturning the current federal visa waiver program.
After the recent ISIS-led attacks in Paris and the California shootings that were inspired by the radical militant group, House members voted 407 to 19 in overwhelming support of the bill, CNN reports. It will now go to the Senate for approval.
"This will help neutralize the threat from foreign terrorists entering our country," House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Dec. 8, according to CNN.
The Republican-led bill, which received widespread bipartisan support, also restricts entry for dual nationals of those countries as well as citizens and visitors of other places that the U.S. names as terrorism supporters. The U.S. government plans to work with 38 countries to share a greater amount of information, so that it will be far more difficult to commit fraud while traveling.
Currently, some eligible individuals can travel in the U.S. for limited amounts of time without applying for a visa.
While the House almost unanimously supported this bill, there are many international authorities who have condemned it, such as Jamal Abdi, the executive director of the National Iranian American Council Action, notes the Jerusalem Post.
"If this bill passes into law, the European Union has warned that it will consider travel restrictions targeting American citizens because the visa waiver program operates on the system of reciprocity," Abdi said, according to the Jerusalem Post. "This could mean that a second tier of American citizens, including Iranian Americans, would be forced to apply for a visa to travel to many nations in Europe and other eligible countries.
"We hope the Senate revises this legislation so that it does not discriminate on the basis of national origin or risk triggering unequal treatment of American citizens traveling abroad by rejecting this backward proposal," Abdi added.