Washington D.C. – Newspapers are reporting @link href=’http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/03/sports/03olympics.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all.com’target=”>_blank”>reporting/link today that during the official Q&A session following the Chicago bid for the Olympic Games, I.O.C. member, Syed Shahid Ali, from Pakistan, asked President Obama how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Olympic Games because doing so can sometimes be “a rather harrowing experience.”
While this I.O.C. member’s concerns raise a red flag about the need for a change in our immigration policies, a litany of voices have been warning for years that the U.S. is slowly adopting an anti-visitor policy that is harming business, higher education and families. Stories in the press and report @link href=’http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR2009041102238.html’target=”>_blank”>report/link after report @link href=’http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/foreign-national-students-in-united-states-plan-to-return-to-native-countries.aspx’target=”>_blank”>report/link have all highlighted how our broken immigration system is hampering our nation’s ability to attract the best and the brightest and stay competitive with other nations around the world.
While the I.O.C. questioned Brazil on combating crime, and Japan was chided for a lackluster proposal that led it to claim the country’s plan was environmentally friendly, it’s notable that the U.S. was pushed hardest on its immigration policies making it clear that our broken immigration system has officially become our Achilles’ heel in the eyes of the world.
President Obama said at a recent @link href=’http://www.immigrationimpact.com/2009/08/21/the-president-and-secretary-napolitano-reaffirm-commitment-to-immigration-reform’target=”>_blank”>recent/link White House gathering that he believes in comprehensive immigration reform and that it is on his agenda. However, this recent disappointment proves that immigration reform is not just a pressing domestic issue, but an international one as well. The President may say the U.S. is open for business, but our nation’s actions have proved quite the opposite.