Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whohoo! USA! USA! USA!

"Rude immigration officials and visa delays keep millions of foreign visitors away from the United States, hurt the country's already battered image, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to an advocacy group formed to push for a better system.

"To drive home the point, the Discover America Partnership released the result of a global survey on Monday which showed that international travelers see the United States as the world's worst country in terms of getting a visa and, once you have it, making your way past rude immigration officials.

"The survey, of 2,011 international travelers in 16 countries, was conducted by RT Strategies, a Virginia-based polling firm, for the Discover America Partnership, a group launched in September with multimillion-dollar backing from a range of companies that include the InterContinental Hotels Group, Anheuser Busch and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts."

From:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061120/...e_dc&printer=1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,282 Posts
I have no faith in surveys. I have known people from many countries, and they love the US. Say we are very friendly. The only hostile ones I met were some French students one summer when I was at college. They could not say enough nasty things about us Americans. They even made fun of a friend of mine, in French, in front of her. Too bad they didn't realize that SHE could speak French fluently and she told them off in their own language. The looks on their faces were priceless.

That survey sounds like more US bashing stuff to me. Oh well, we cannot win no matter what we do or don't do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,544 Posts
I am also wary if surveys and stats, but I will say that the visa system is just plain wrong. I have more than one friend here who paid the visa processing and application fee of 150 US dollars (about the same as 2/3 the average person's monthly salary here) and and then had the visa denied with no reason whatsoever offered....and they KEEP the money!

You have to apply months and months in advance and wait on HUGE lines...there is nothing quite like a visit to a US embassy to make you feel like a big imperialist pig. The citizens lounge about in the spacious cushioned chairs of their secion, while the rest of the area, cordoned with those theater ropes, is SRO, full of crying babies and hunched over elderly all with tiny little paper number tickets in their hands...so sad.

Vietnam was the only place I have been to so far that would not let me purchase my visa at the customs desk on arrival, and MOST places I have been to just give you three months for FREE.

Also, when I brought DH home to meet my folks, the customs folks held him in the detention room for two hours, and didn't even question him, just made him sit there, while I was freaking out wondering what the heck was going on and trying to explain to my driver why it was taking so long...and the gaurd was really REALLY rude to me about it...just glared down her nose and shouted, "Step behind the yellow line!"

But that is MY experience.

Most people I meet here say AMERICANS are really friendly and fun and kind (if not a bit silly and oblivious at times), but usually people I meet have a good impression of Americans as hosts. But the red tape that one needs to cut through to get IN, especially if you are from a country that necessitates a visa, is just ridiculous.

I can't help but think that the money lost on tourism would be beneficial to the economy of the States right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,766 Posts
Since this survey is not about American's in general, but about the Customs officials-Totally agree. I LOATHE going through US Customs, and I'm a citizen. It's much more anxiety driven for non-residents like my DH. I'll take the intimidating officers with machine guns and attack dogs at Frankfurt anyday, at least they aren't overly RUDE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
That survey sounds like more US bashing stuff to me. Oh well, we cannot win no matter what we do or don't do.
Yes, of course. A survey done by a U.S. based company that is sponsored by U.S. based entertainment entities...it MUST be more a "U.S. bashing stuff" plot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,881 Posts
i'm an american, but h is not, and we've had some less than thrilling times dealing with DHS at the borders. once they came with guns drawn (when we came in from Canada, about 45 minutes from the border itself) after they pulled us over at a road check. that was just lovely


i love how it's always "the French" btw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,928 Posts
When I came back to the US after a trip to Germany, I could not believe how RUDE the customs people were at Detroit Metro. They were AWFUL!!! This was even before 9-11 when things got tighter at airports. Ugh! I was thinking, if someone comes here for the first time from another country and experiences Detroit Metro's customs people... that's awful!

Danelle - I will take Frankfurt customs too, any day over ours!!! ANY DAY!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,396 Posts
"Rude immigration officials and visa delays keep millions of foreign visitors away from the United States, hurt the country's already battered image, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to an advocacy group formed to push for a better system."

You know what, it is true. When my DH re-entered the U.S. being on an F1 Student Visa the immigration officer told him he is stealing american jobs and whether he planned on working in the U.S. after he's done with his studies
:

My father got rudly bawled at because when he was asked where he'd visit his daughter he said Minneapolis and not Plymouth, not knowing that Plymouth was outside the official city limit and therefore he had to say Plymouth and not Minneapolis.

Or what about me travelling alone with child and 4 suitcases and NO ONE offering help after selecting me randomly for inspection bringing me to tears because I hurt myself badly trying to lift the suitcases onto the band.

Or the humiliation entering, 6 lines for americans only where often just 1/10th of the passengers need to go through, 2 for foreigners where you wait up to an hour to give your fingerprint like a criminal.

And does anyone now what it takes to get a visa?

/endofhijack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,633 Posts
As a foreigner who lived in the US for 5 years, I have to agree that EVERY SINGLE person I dealt with at immigration OR at American embassies were unpleasant at best, but usually EXTREMELY rude!
And getting Visas?? The worst PITA ever!!! So true what a PP said about American Embassies all over the world! They are really awful places! If you are not an American, you are treated like JUNK - REALLY! And yes, Americans get immediate attention and are treated like royalty (I have been to 5 different American Embassies in case anybody is wondering...)

Having said that.... from the moment I stepped in American soil, I was amazed at how friendly, helpful and kind the American people were! Of course, there are rude people here and there, but in general, Americans were always very kind and helpful
A nice surprise after a bad experience with passport control!

The American government, the beurocrats and the red tape are the ones to blame for the anti-american sentiment all over the world IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by polihaupt View Post
As a foreigner who lived in the US for 5 years, I have to agree that EVERY SINGLE person I dealt with at immigration OR at American embassies were unpleasant at best, but usually EXTREMELY rude!
And getting Visas?? The worst PITA ever!!! So true what a PP said about American Embassies all over the world! They are really awful places! If you are not an American, you are treated like JUNK - REALLY! And yes, Americans get immediate attention and are treated like royalty (I have been to 5 different American Embassies in case anybody is wondering...)

Having said that.... from the moment I stepped in American soil, I was amazed at how friendly, helpful and kind the American people were! Of course, there are rude people here and there, but in general, Americans were always very kind and helpful
A nice surprise after a bad experience with passport control!

The American government, the beurocrats and the red tape are the ones to blame for the anti-american sentiment all over the world IMO.
I agree. I am an American and I HATE the way our immigration system is. They are rude and condescending, and it reflects badly on Americans. It's awful the way some people are treated, especially if you are of Middle Eastern descent. Our government isn't much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,544 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by polihaupt View Post
As a foreigner who lived in the US for 5 years, I have to agree that EVERY SINGLE person I dealt with at immigration OR at American embassies were unpleasant at best, but usually EXTREMELY rude!
And getting Visas?? The worst PITA ever!!! So true what a PP said about American Embassies all over the world! They are really awful places! If you are not an American, you are treated like JUNK - REALLY! And yes, Americans get immediate attention and are treated like royalty (I have been to 5 different American Embassies in case anybody is wondering...)
Yeah...I've only been to three (South Korea, Vietnam, and Argentina) but everytime time I was damned glad to have been a citizen.

The only time I have ever felt anything even remotely close to what I imagine it must feel like for non-citizen visiting our embassy or customs area was when I went to Japan, and at the Narita Airport the citizens had practically one customs desk open for every two people on line, and the non-citizen, for a mob of about 500+ people had three, count them THREE, desks open...Longest. Line. EVAHHH. I think I went through two packets of aa bateries in my walkman before I got the the front..and woe betide the fool who didn't fill in her entry card.
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,928 Posts
Huggerwocky... when I was coming back from Germany with DH, we tried to help a lady with a small baby and a ton of luggage... she was travelling alone and we got YELLED AT for helping!!! YELLED AT!!! (This was at Detroit Metro) They told her she could HIRE a sky cab, she would have to pay extra... but we were not allowed to help her one bit. That is such BS! I thought, wow, if everyone gets this warm of a welcome coming here, this is horrible! (The military-uniformed people at the Frankfurt airport were a little intimidating but they were efficient and did not yell at you!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,802 Posts
Yep, nothing like an American Embassy staffer for rudeness and a lack of respect, here visa applicants line up for may hours OUTSIDE in the hot sun (or rain) til they are called in for the interview.

Why is it that while every American I have ever met is a nice, friendly person, the image that the US government projects (through their official representation and immigration staff) to the rest of the world is always one of arrogance and unfriendliness?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by timneh_mom View Post
Huggerwocky... when I was coming back from Germany with DH, we tried to help a lady with a small baby and a ton of luggage... she was travelling alone and we got YELLED AT for helping!!! YELLED AT!!! (This was at Detroit Metro) They told her she could HIRE a sky cab, she would have to pay extra... but we were not allowed to help her one bit. That is such BS! I thought, wow, if everyone gets this warm of a welcome coming here, this is horrible! (The military-uniformed people at the Frankfurt airport were a little intimidating but they were efficient and did not yell at you!)
and why in the world could you not help her? And if you did anyways would you be arrested? WTF??? That has got to be the most assisnine thing I have heard all day. People who think like that should be in therapy, not in the immigration business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,282 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by RowansDad View Post
Yes, of course. A survey done by a U.S. based company that is sponsored by U.S. based entertainment entities...it MUST be more a "U.S. bashing stuff" plot!

Oh for pity's sake, I was joking. But seriously, it always is the US that is so bad. Yes. We are evil and we must be stopped. It gets old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,766 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
Oh for pity's sake, I was joking. But seriously, it always is the US that is so bad. Yes. We are evil and we must be stopped. It gets old.
Um weren't you bitching about the French??? The Americans can be just as nasty, ask my In-Laws. There are places I no longer give business because of instances just as you described. It's amazing to me how often I run into Americans that think if you speak with an accent or a foreign language, you must be stupid-and therefore they treat you that way. Oh and I love it when they think you'll understand if they just SPEAK LOUDER. Um...riiiggghhht.
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,282 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danelle78 View Post
Um weren't you bitching about the French??? The Americans can be just as nasty, ask my In-Laws. There are places I no longer give business because of instances just as you described. It's amazing to me how often I run into Americans that think if you speak with an accent or a foreign language, you must be stupid-and therefore they treat you that way. Oh and I love it when they think you'll understand if they just SPEAK LOUDER. Um...riiiggghhht.
:

I was telling about ONE incident with a FEW French students. I did not put that on the entire country of France. And you have to admit what those students did was very rude. Just the same if a group of us had talked smack about France.

Oh and yes, indeedy Americans can be nasty. Definitely. But, some people like to put the actions/attitudes of a few jerks on the entire USA population.

BTW~I like to hear people speak with an accent. I have a slight KY drawl. (not a bad one) I think accents from other countries are lovely. One of my best friends in college was from Ireland.

My point is, I am tired of hearing how horrible we are here, when, IMO, buttheads come in every shape, size, and from every country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
Oh and yes, indeedy Americans can be nasty. Definitely. But, some people like to put the actions/attitudes of a few jerks on the entire USA population.
Most people in this thread said that once you are there, Americans are really nice most of the time. The problem is customs. No one is saying that all Americans are jerks because of the people in airports.

And I had the same experience. I didn't need a visa to go to the US (because of this waiver thing for some european countries), but at the airport they ask you so much and they can be very rude when they do it
. - And this can really make you feel nervous, because you start thinking that maybe you did something wrong, or are carrying something that you shouldn't or I don't know what else, and that they could just send you home (a waste of money and frustrating) or worse.
So, I don't like travelling to the USA not because I didn't like the people once I was there, but the trip is such a turn off. Not just because it's long, but because customs seems to have this attitude that foreigners should feel so lucky they are even considering letting us in.
Plus now our airlines have to push a bunch of personal information to US homeland security. Feeling like you're a criminal until proven otherwise is not nice. And when I was coming back - I just didn't see our customs treating American tourists in the same way.

FWIW, I haven't been to another country outside of Europe (not without my parents), so I really can't compare it to other places. But I do believe they can do their work to make sure that things are safe without being rude or making people feel nervous thinking "what if I somehow did something wrong? They could do anything to me."

I loved San Francisco, I loved the people I met there. I even really liked the American guy who sat next to me and was really nice and explained a bunch of confusing stuff to me (about filling out the papers, about what we couldn't take with us, about the TVs in front of us...). I just didn't love the whole airport experience.

And yes, that is something that will influence my choice of where to go next time I want to travel somewhere. Besides, it is often your first imporession of the US, because you have to get through them before you can really see the rest.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top