Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to America We Go

By Mark Krikorian on January 19, 2012

There's a kingdom where outsiders are welcomed warmly and with open arms, but only if they present the proper credentials. Upon presenting themselves for admission, they are thoroughly inspected to check the validity of their travel documents and ensure that they have no contraband. Once in this kingdom, the outside visitors must follow strict rules of decorum and pay for their own support. When the visitors' time is up, their departure is carefully monitored and the kingdom checked to ensure that no one has improperly stayed behind.

So, naturally, it makes sense that President Obama is visiting that kingdom today to announce that he will gut the controls on certain foreign tourists seeking to visit the United States (sorry, "increase tourist visa processing in China and Brazil" -- here is the White House press release). I mean, it's not like visitors entering on visas ever stay after their permission to be here expires. Instead of a photo-op at Cinderella's Castle to kiss up to travel-industry lobbyists, why doesn't he hire Disney to run our border systems; part of the contract would stipulate that the firm pay a penalty for each visa overstayer, like a building contractor paying a penalty for cost overruns or delays. (Of course, that would require that we have a meaningful system for tracking the departure of visitors, which we don't.) That's a Mickey Mouse border-control system that I could get behind.