This Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for, we live in a country is considered to be the symbol of Freedom and Prosperity. Yet, it seems that this country and the government running it, is doing a very bad PR job is welcoming visitors and immigrants to this country.
In my own practice, I often here horror stories from people that were treated poorly and very disrespectfully by our immigration officials. Tourists detained at airports for no reason, professionals coming to work sent back and barred from coming back, and I can go on and on.
Fareed Zakaria published an excellent article in this week’s Newsweek magazine. He states:
According to the Commerce Department, the United States is the only major country in the world to which travel has declined in the midst of a global tourism boom. And this is not about Arabs or Muslims. The number of Japanese visiting the United States declined from 5 million in 2000 to 3.6 million last year. The numbers have begun to increase, but by 2010 they’re still projected to be 19 percent below 2000 levels. During this same span (2000–2010), global tourism is expected to grow by 44 percent.
The administration and Congress say the right things, have passed a few measures to improve matters and keep insisting that the problem has been solved. But the data and loads of anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise. The basic problem remains: no bureaucrat wants to be the person who lets in the next terrorist. As a result, when one spots any irregularity—no matter how minor—the reflex is to stop, question, harass, arrest and deport. If tens of thousands of foreigners are upset, so what? But if one day a jihadist manages to slip in, woe to the person who stamped his passport. The incentives are badly skewed.
If we are not going to change the ways we welcome visitors to this country, let’s get ready for less tourist, less students and less culture coming this way…….