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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

CAN DISNEY HOSPITALITY CHANGE PERCEPTIONS OF VISITOR ENTRY SYSTEM?

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Yesterday I blogged about the dismal view the world has of our Customs and Border Protection officers and how those officers just don't seem to get that they're seriously damaging the country they're supposed to be protecting. Their often surly attitude is hurting our foreign policy as America seeks friends to fight with us for our security. And it's destroying American tourism.



A few days back I did see a little announcement that a few others made jokes about, but which I interpret as a hopeful sign. Disney and DHS' Customs and Border Protection officials have signed an agreement to try and make our entry points a little more welcoming. Here's information from the CBP press release:

"Travelers form their first impressions of America
when they arrive at our borders," said Stewart Baker, assistant
secretary for policy, Department of Homeland Security. "Our global
reputation therefore depends on making visitors feel every bit as
welcome as they feel secure."



"We
are proud to partner with the U.S. government to extend a world-class
welcome to America's guests," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts. "This project showcases America's greatest asset:
the ordinary people who make this nation extraordinary."



The
film and still portraits showcase the diversity, friendliness and
optimism of the American people. The film will be shown in the federal
inspection areas of U.S. airports, and in U.S. embassies and consulates
overseas, while the still portraits will be incorporated in posters,
banners and other imagery welcoming visitors to the U.S. The video and
images will not feature or promote any commercial entities.



Washington's Dulles and Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airports will be the first to get the videos (surprised that Orlando is not first?).



I'm extremely pleased that Disney is getting involved here. If there is one company in America that understands what it means to trash the reputation of our country for being decent and hospitable, it's Disney. They know what it means to protect your brand and if Disney employees exhibited behavior seen daily at entry points around the country, they wouldn't be Disney employees for very long. And guess what CBP folks? Disney has to maintain an incredible security operation as well since they run our highest traffic tourist sites. But they seem to have figured out how to be friendly while being vigilant.



Hopefully, the entry officers will watch the videos along with America's guests. And, uh, yes Mr. CBP officer that posted the nasty comment on the blog this weekend, persons entering the country on visitor and work visas are our guests and deserve to be treated accordingly.

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Comments

  1. hmm's Avatar
    Training government employees to be friendly has a cost and some people would argue that there are better uses for taxpayer's money. For one thing I do not see why one should focus at the border; in my experience most lower level government officials are somewhere between unfiendly and rude. And speaking of immigration officers at the border, I think it is far more important that they know the laws and apply them correctly.

    Incidentally, one of few accomplishements of Bush administration is making USCIS customer service friendlier. I fear under the new administration this initiative will be disrupted. I certainly do not remember any steps in this direction under Clinton.
  2. 's Avatar
    Minister detained at US airport
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_yorkshire/7066944.stm

    You can imagine how they treat normal people.
  3. Another voice's Avatar
    They should expand this program to all government employees that deal with the public. Its a culture for government employees to be RUDE.
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