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Friday, April 02, 2004

Avoiding trouble 

Steven Clemons: Land of the Free?: "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. "
Perception? This is not a perception, its a reality. About once a month, some new horror story hits our newspapers about some poor soul, usually Arab but sometimes just someone who looks a little like an Arab or has an Arabic pr Persian or Turkish name, who gets trapped at the border, or jailed in the US, or deported to Syria to be tortured, because they made the mistake of leaving Canada and got embroiled in border guard paranoia. As I understand it, too, international organizations of all kinds, like medical conventions, are avoiding the US exactly for this reason -- why subject their members to the risk of humiliation or worse at the US border, when they can avoid the problem by scheduling their convention in Vancouver or Toronto instead. Personally, I will never travel to the United States again if I can help it, certainly not as long as Bush is around, and many other Canadians feel the same way.

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