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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

America the Inhospitable?

Two Op-Ed pieces from the New York Times make the point that it's a bad idea to complicate the visa process for foreign students desiring to come to the U.S.

First, Robert M. Gates, former CIA director and president of Texas A&M University:

After 9/11, for perfectly understandable reasons, the federal government made it much tougher to get a visa to come to the United States. Sadly, the unpredictability and delays that characterize the new system — and, too often, the indifference or hostility of those doing the processing — have resulted over the last year or so in a growing number of the world's brightest young people deciding to remain at home or go to other countries for their college or graduate education. Thousands of legitimate international students are being denied entry into the United States or are giving up in frustration and anger.

Second, Steven Clemons, executive vice president of the New America Foundation:

The combination of these factors — an increase in the visa fee and the greater likelihood of rejection — has only strengthened the perception that America has become less hospitable to foreigners in the aftermath of 9/11. So it is not surprising that fewer foreigners aspire to train at American universities and become part of the United States network of talent and innovation.

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