Since 9/11, we have tightened our borders and amended our immigration laws in an effort to exclude potentially dangerous individuals from infiltrating our country. While we may now be safer than we were 10 years ago, this increased security has come at a cost. The number of international visitors to the US has severely decreased because obtaining even a simple tourist visa has become a difficult and lengthy process.
On Thursday, January 19 in front of Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Florida, President Obama presented a new plan to make visiting the US easier, especially for Brazilian and Chinese nationals. By significantly decreasing the wait time for the majority of non-immigrant visa interviews, President Obama hopes to boost tourism and, as a result, the economy. A greater influx of tourists would inevitably result in billions of dollars of increased revenue and, according to White House estimates, the potential for more than 1 million new jobs in the next ten years. In addition to decreasing visa wait times, President Obama also plans to increase the number of countries whose citizens can enter the US without a visa. The following ABC News article provides a wealth of information about President Obama’s plan and the positive impact of tourism on our economy: