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Travel to U.S. Said Down Due to Entry Rules

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  • Travel to U.S. Said Down Due to Entry Rules

    Update :

    By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - Top Bush administration officials said Wednesday that restrictions on the entry of foreigners have prompted many to shun travel to the United States since 2001. They recommended that the constraints be reviewed.

    "This hurts us," Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said, citing a 30 percent decline in overseas visits to the United States over 2 1/2 years. "It's is not serving our interests. And so we really do have to work on it."

    Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the security benefits derived from the post-Sept. 11 restrictions have had unwanted economic side effects.

    Powell and Ridge made their comments in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee (news - web sites).

    Powell cited the example of a Harvard Ph.D. candidate from China who returned to his homeland to attend a wedding but was unable to resume his studies for months because he had neglected to reapply for permission for the return trip.

    "People aren't going to take that for very long, and when the word gets out to others, they will start going elsewhere," Powell said.

    The number of foreign students in the United States is down as are visits by scientists, businessmen and others, he added.

    Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., said the Boston area he represents normally attracts large numbers of foreign scholars but there has been a "dramatic decline" since 2001.

    "I am very concerned," he said.

    Ridge said the increased scrutiny of foreigners wishing to visit the United States was understandable in the post-Sept. 11 climate. But, he said, "two years have elapsed. We've seen the consequences of some of these changes. We have to be serious about reviewing them."

    While stressing the need for making travel restrictions less onerous, Powell and Ridge defended the administration's recent request for a tightening of rules affecting millions of visitors from 27 friendly European and Pacific nations.

    Earlier this month, the administration asked Congress to require for the first time in years that travelers from these countries be fingerprinted and photographed before entering the United States.

    Under the administration's proposal, the requirement would be in effect until Nov. 30, 2006 __ two years later than originally planned. By that time, the 27 visa waiver countries will be expected to have so-called "biometric passports" for its citizens.

    Such passports will include fingerprint and iris identification features that make the documents virtually impossible to counterfeit.

    Since January, travelers from most foreign countries have had their digital photographs and fingerprints checked against U.S. security data bases.


    I knew this was going to happen sooner or later.

  • #2
    Update :

    By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - Top Bush administration officials said Wednesday that restrictions on the entry of foreigners have prompted many to shun travel to the United States since 2001. They recommended that the constraints be reviewed.

    "This hurts us," Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said, citing a 30 percent decline in overseas visits to the United States over 2 1/2 years. "It's is not serving our interests. And so we really do have to work on it."

    Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the security benefits derived from the post-Sept. 11 restrictions have had unwanted economic side effects.

    Powell and Ridge made their comments in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee (news - web sites).

    Powell cited the example of a Harvard Ph.D. candidate from China who returned to his homeland to attend a wedding but was unable to resume his studies for months because he had neglected to reapply for permission for the return trip.

    "People aren't going to take that for very long, and when the word gets out to others, they will start going elsewhere," Powell said.

    The number of foreign students in the United States is down as are visits by scientists, businessmen and others, he added.

    Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., said the Boston area he represents normally attracts large numbers of foreign scholars but there has been a "dramatic decline" since 2001.

    "I am very concerned," he said.

    Ridge said the increased scrutiny of foreigners wishing to visit the United States was understandable in the post-Sept. 11 climate. But, he said, "two years have elapsed. We've seen the consequences of some of these changes. We have to be serious about reviewing them."

    While stressing the need for making travel restrictions less onerous, Powell and Ridge defended the administration's recent request for a tightening of rules affecting millions of visitors from 27 friendly European and Pacific nations.

    Earlier this month, the administration asked Congress to require for the first time in years that travelers from these countries be fingerprinted and photographed before entering the United States.

    Under the administration's proposal, the requirement would be in effect until Nov. 30, 2006 __ two years later than originally planned. By that time, the 27 visa waiver countries will be expected to have so-called "biometric passports" for its citizens.

    Such passports will include fingerprint and iris identification features that make the documents virtually impossible to counterfeit.

    Since January, travelers from most foreign countries have had their digital photographs and fingerprints checked against U.S. security data bases.


    I knew this was going to happen sooner or later.

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess the world being in a recession has nothing to do with it right?

      -= nav =-

      Comment

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