"Tourists complain that U.S. immigration officials are rude and disrespectful, and they don't think that's a good way to start a vacation," Bloomberg said. "This is another one of those things that is diminishing our competitive edge."
Travel industry advocates say the U.S. should be working harder to maintain an industry that brought $107.9 billion into the country in 2006 — essentially making services to travelers one of the nation's major exports. [U.S. Tour Industry Focuses on Foreigners, San Francisco Chronicle 9/02/07]
That's big money for travel honchos to protect. Incidentally, there's no reason why immigration officials cannot be professionally polite as well as thorough in checking entrants for potential enemies.
Many of the Visa Waiver countries are in Europe, now home to tens of millions of Muslims, a considerable proportion of whom are hostile to Western values. Retired Immigration Officer Michael Cutler recently underlined the connection between the tourist industry and the Visa Waiver program, which allows citizens of 27 countries to enter America without the important screening that a visa application requires:
I have been told by unimpeachable sources in Washington that it is the executives from the travel, hospitality and tourism industries that have been behind the continuation of the perilous Visa Waiver Program. [Government's Illusional Border Security, News with Views 6/11/07]
My members and I paid a terrible price for the open borders espoused by the travel industry, which profits from our governmentâ€™s failure to properly screen the millions of aliens who enter our country each year. So I will not mince words: the policies that the travel industry successfully lobbied for led directly to the admission of the terrorists of September 11 and thus to the murders of 3000 Americans.
It's sad to contemplate that our national security remains severely compromised by the travel industry's harmful demands and Washington's slavish obedience to business above all else.