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Asking for a Rethink on US Immigration Diplomacy

By       Message Krishna Hari Pushkar     Permalink
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The enduring US immigration diplomacy has become frosty for non-US citizens. Every time, foreigners have to pass through a hapless screening while facing the visa process or to get immigration clearance at the port of entry in the United States. Foreigners are not against the existing law and process, but are against the behavior by US Immigration authorities. It is sad to describe that most of the travelers are not happy and get upset while they face the US officials. Foreigners clearly experience the racism, humiliation, domination and discrimination while passing through US visa and immigration processes.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the US applied and enforced all possible powers and strategies for better national security, which is appreciated in many ways. However, to tighten up and maintain the dignity and rights of travelers during the visa and immigration clearance process at the point of entry does not require lowering of proper manners and professional ways of the US officials. The US is being highly criticized abroad for its actions. There are plenty of examples that the US has extended direct and indirect apologies for such wrongdoings in many cases, but there has not yet been any serious reform to address the issues.

The process should be delivered in a professional and courteous manner as Americans have been enjoying and expecting in other countries. A US official may examine the documents and conduct needed inquiries in a decent, disciplined and respectful manner. Almost all developing countries have experienced that even their VIPs were insulted during the visa obtaining and immigration clearance process.

There are international laws and universally accepted diplomatic norms concerning the immigration and border security policy, approved and accepted by almost all international communities and nations.

It is always sad to hear a US spokesperson reporting that outsiders were detained or inhumanly interrogated, refused or delayed or barred from visa or clearance due to some security or technical reason, which often is questioned by others in the world. Human rights defenders and international communities question US authorities about their conduct of immigration and security clearances. Many say the US visa and immigration clearance procedures are unacceptable. Poorly designed processes and procedures are an assault on the dignity and rights of sovereign people.

The US immigration process is like a curfew for foreigners. It is well accepted that continuous "curfew" cannot be a perfect tool to control violent groups or to protect life, liberty and property of the people. The curfew is one of the most important tools for security. Curfew cannot be imposed for long term because when security is tightened, public freedom is kept under strict control. This is why the US visa and immigration clearance procedure seems like a curfew. The US authority must transform the curfew into a professional regular process otherwise it will be tagged like the ineffective curfews during ethnic insurgency.

The currently imposed visa and immigration procedures degrade the national and public prestige of the US. Such policies increase the anger against the US and it's Government. There are many examples the US visa and Immigration policy have turned foreign people and experts to act against the interest of the US. Consequently the time will come when few foreigners will remain to work in the US, and finally the lonely US will be on the global enemies list of the rest of the world. Supremacy is nice but loneliness is painful, so the US must understand this possibility and should be careful to guard against this vulnerability. The growing population of anti-American foreigners could assist in preventing the terrorists' strategy, whose principal goal is to create an anti-American environment across the world, and to depose the US from its prosperous position.

Some experts raise a question to immigration and border security officials, asking how they can judge the profile of a person in so short a time? A physical profile may be examined by submitted or presented documents but psychological or mental status may not be judged until the traveler speaks during their inquiry, which almost never happens.

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Mr. Pushkar was a DAAD fellow and studied research master in peace and conflict studies in Germany. Also, he holds an internationally honored first class master degree in public administration. He has participated in dozens of national and (more...)
 

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