The Obama administration has announced some changes to the visa waiver program, which allows travelers from some 38 countries including France, Belgium and other European countries, to come to the U.S. without a visa.

The White House announced several steps, including attempting better tracking of past travel, fines for airlines that don't verify passport data, assisting other countries on the screening of refugees and with border security.

strugglevideomedia /

Opponents and supporters of plans to accept Syrian refugees into the United States held dueling but peaceful rallies in Hartford.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said he wants an investigation into a federal agency after a Haitian national was accused of killing a Connecticut woman shortly after his release from prison.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's still unclear how the U.S. Senate will respond to the House of Representatives' bill that would tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. 

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

In a 289 to 137 vote last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. The measure passed despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama -- a threat Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says "baffles" him.

State Senator Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton), who attracted national criticism for an email in which she condemned Muslims, released a statement Friday defending her concerns about admitting Syrian refugees into the US.

Some Americans have taken to Twitter and threatened to move to Canada if the U.S. welcomes Syrian refugees. Perhaps they haven't been paying attention to news north of the border.

Justin Trudeau's campaign pledge to resettle refugees in Canada helped sweep him into the prime minister's office last month. His new government is adamant it will go through with an ambitious plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year — just six weeks away.

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Two members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation voted with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives Thursday to strengthen the vetting procedure for Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures.

The bill — called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 — would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat.

Aliyya Swaby / New Haven Independent

A young Syrian family is now living in New Haven after Indiana officials objected to plans for the refugees to resettle in their state. Local officials scrambled to accommodate the family of three. 


Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is calling for the U.S. to demand higher security from its European partners around the visa waiver program.


The civil war in Syria has claimed thousands of lives and led millions of Syrians to seek refuge in other countries, including the U.S. Federal officials said just 2,100 of them have been resettled in the U.S. so far.

In Connecticut, there's been a developing grassroots effort over the last several months to help Syrian refugees.

The Obama administration is working to stem the backlash against its plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States.

As of late Tuesday, 30 governors — 29 Republicans and 1 Democrat — had expressed opposition to bringing in refugees after European officials confirmed one of the terrorists who attacked Paris last week was a Syrian who had registered with E.U. officials while traveling through Greece seeking asylum.

Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET

Governors in 30 states across the country have now publicly asked for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.

Those states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

More than two dozen U.S. governors are publicly opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the wake of attacks in Paris last week.

But in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy said the state will continue to welcome refugees who undergo a rigorous security screening. 

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

One of the suicide bombers who struck Paris on Friday has been identified as a Syrian who passed through Greece as an asylum-seeker this year and registered with European authorities.

That fact has spurred a strong reaction from many politicians here in the United States over the resettlement of Syrian refugees, with swift opposition from many Republican governors, and one Democrat, to further resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states.

In the wake of Friday's coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, the French people — and supporters around the world — have been grieving. More than 120 people died in explosions and gunfire when well-coordinated teams of assailants struck at least six sites across the city.

Actor Randall Park takes the responsibility of portraying an Asian-American character on television very seriously. When he accepted the role of Louis Huang on the ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat, Park wanted to make sure his portrayal avoided stereotypes and clichés.

Elipongo / Creative Commons

Connecticut is "The Land of Steady Habits," which is why our state budget remains in a state of permanent crisis. Recently, Governor Dan Malloy made emergency cuts to the budget and targeted hospital funding and social services. He was on Where We Live this week and defended his actions and drew more criticism from the hospital community.

The U.N. knows what it needs to do. But can it do it all?

Secretary of State John Kerry is pledging that the United States will significantly increase the number of migrants it accepts over the next two years, ratcheting up to 100,000 annually by 2017.

After nearly 10,000 refugees and migrants entered Croatia in the past two days, the country has placed its army on alert to deploy on the country's border with Serbia. People who were turned away by Hungary now see Croatia as an alternate route into European Union countries.

Reporting from the Croatia-Serbia border, Lauren Frayer spoke to Jamal al-Shahoud, a refugee from Syria, who told her, "Here no food, no water. No buses, no trains. Nothing here. Just tired."

Lauren reports for our Newscast unit:

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Senator Chris Murphy is joining Connecticut advocates to call for a big increase in the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the United States.

With new border control laws taking effect, Hungary has sealed its border with Serbia. Processing areas that were packed with more than 9,300 refugees and other migrants on Monday now stand empty.

Hungary declared a crisis in two southern counties today, as crowds of migrants were halted in Serbia, having missed the midnight deadline before the new and stricter laws took effect.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Germany's interior minister confirmed Sunday that his country would impose temporary controls on its border, halting trains between Austria and Germany for a 12-hour period to stem the flow of refugees flooding into Munich.

"The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country," Thomas de Maiziere said at a news conference.

Thousands of refugees and other migrants who are streaming into Hungary from Serbia are finding themselves detained near the border, frustrating their attempts to reach Germany.

The president of the European Union is calling on countries to welcome their share of what the U.N. predicts will be at least 850,000 migrants over the next two years.

United States Air Force / Creative Commons

Since 1986, the United States has been granting visa waivers to citizens of countries it sees as trusted allies. Someone from France or Spain can, relatively easily, use a passport and visit for up to 90 days. There are 38 countries whose citizens do not require visas to enter the United States. 

But one key ally has been wait listed: Poland. And the Polish community is asking, “Why not us?” 

With thousands of Syrian refugees and other migrants finally reaching havens in Germany and other European countries — and thousands more arriving daily — the Obama administration says it's "actively considering" ways to help, including allowing more refugees into the U.S.

The migrant crisis has placed stress on infrastructure in Greece, Macedonia and Hungary. It has also highlighted divisions between European Union countries.

Why Are Migrants Surging Into Europe Now?

Sep 2, 2015

The United Nations says more than 300,000 migrants have set out from North Africa and the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea for Europe this year so far — 40 percent more than in all of last year.

A flood of migrants, including refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, were stranded in Budapest after the Hungarian government closed down the city's main train terminal.

Authorities had been allowing migrants to travel to Western Europe without checking passports, but on Tuesday, the station was closed and migrants began protesting.