Monday, December 1, 2003

U.S. industries suffer under visa backlog

"Manzullo blames the U.S. government for Ingersoll's bankruptcy, specifically the long delays foreigners now face when trying to obtain visas to visit the United States."

"A process that formerly took 30 days or less now can stretch for months and months, often with no explanation of why the visa application has not been approved, witnesses told Manzullo's committee at a Nov. 20 hearing."

"The result has been lost business deals with foreign customers, lost productivity from key employees whose return to the United States has been delayed, lost trade shows to overseas locations and foreign tourists lost to more welcoming vacation destinations, the witnesses said."

"Chambers of commerce representing other countries are exploiting America's new reputation as an 'unwelcoming' nation, says Randel K. Johnson, vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

"They are telling companies 'don't deal with the United States -- it's too much of a hassle,' he says."

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