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From: D. J. Staub (e-mail him)
Late Friday, the White House slipped another one by the unsuspecting American public.
Seven countries will be added to the U.S. visa waiver program: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and South Korea. [Bush Announces Visa Waiver for 7 Countries, Jennifer Loven, Associated Press, October 18, 2008]
This is such a bad idea that even California Senator Dianne Feinstein is upset.
Noting that the Department of Homeland Security has no system to ensure that those who enter the country visa-free ever leave, Feinstein said:
"We know [the program] is exploited by dangerous persons. It would be irresponsible, and illegal, to expand the visa waiver program without complying with the mandates of the law. I believe the administration is taking the wrong approach by expanding this program and admitting new countries with even higher visa refusal rates."
Finally, Feinstein came down on the right side of an issue!
What's particularly idiotic is that Bush allowed Latvia to be part of his visa waiver program. Latvia is known for a huge amount of credit card fraud and identity theft.
I work in e-commerce and we refuse to take any transactions from Latvia.
Staub lives in Montreal.