I’m no expert on travel vetting, but apparently yes. The US relies on other countries to manage and keep criminal records on their citzens and vet them, or pre-vet them. Of course the US travel vetting mostly relies upon reviewing those foreign records and maybe interviewing the applicant with a few stupid questions.
Until the past few years, most of the concern was vetting people from poor countries to determine whether they would return home before the expiration of there visas. The US has at least 8 million illegal immigrants (about the same as the population of Norway) who have overstayed their visas. Visa overstays are the largest source of illegal immigrants.
Now terrorism is the big concern. It’s a very real problem. Although 90 percent of what Homeland Security does is an ineffective waste of money, it must attempt to intercept terrorism. People from places with little functioning government and no criminal records, like Somalia, need to be banned from the US because there is no way to vet them, and the US does not benefit from their visits.
Drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficiing, and money laundering are also major problems, so there is vetting for this.
Speaking of drugs, American mariners are tested for drug use every time they do a CoC tranaction, again with pre-employment screening before every new job, and must be in commercial drug monitoring programs with random testing. So are airline pilots. So are commercial vehicle drivers. Additionally, employers often do extra drug screening. This is a lot of vetting, there are records. Foreign Immigration authorities can get these records from the US as part of their visa review process. Or foreign immigration authorities can simply rest assured tha American mariners are well vetted.
As far as I know, the US is the only country that drug tests mariners.
I doubt that most countries do effective criminal background and security checks on their mariners. ThIs, along with economic illegal immigration, is why the US must vet foreign mariners before allowing the ashore.
I disagree with a lot of what the US government does. It tends to overdo things, but still manage to do them badly. We have far too much “big brother”. We need smaller, less intrusive, and less expensive government, but the government only grows bigger.