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We'll give him one. All he has to do is prove that he's not a terrorist, or prove that he can cross a mexican desert. ;-)

Umm, Dave made me say that, I have nothing against anyone who comes across the border. I understand that being prejudiced can get me fired, and by the way Ray was on the other side twirling something that looked like a small sack of sand.

Unfortunately, that's what happens when something or some system gets misused or abused. The ones who suffer the most are the law-abiding people who just want to do the right thing. This gentleman from Albania is in the music business and wants to go to a Messe in Frankfurt/Main. What's the harm in that?

Of course, we won't mention the revolving door the US State Department had in Saudi Arabia sometime for "tourists" to the US before the 10th of September 2001.

I have a couple questions, please. Who was this letter written to? A newspaper? Gov't ministry? And I don't understand what advantage Fischer saw in giving out visas will-nilly? Was he getting kickbacks?

Oh, and lemmy, the problems with the revolving door for Saudi Arabia at State are not past tense. The woman who was in charge Sept 10 2001 (her name escapes me) is still in charge. And still playing games. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if SHE were on the take.

Where's Skander Beg when you need him to kick some ass in Old Europe.

This is not something Americans can feel too smug about. Someone who wants to visit our country has to pay an application fee of (I believe) $100. This fee is not returned even if the application is rejected. Moreover, the consulate handling the application does not have to explain its refusal. Does that sound like a system likely to make us popular overseas?

Come to think of it I have another question. Aren't the SPD and CDU having talks on a coalition in Schleswig-Holstein? How is this visa dust-up going to affect the vote for SPD?

@Pamela

WHAT, she is still there?!? Insane. Simply insane.

lemmy, yup still there. Mary Ryan got canned but she was low-level. The woman actuall at Foggy Bottom is still there. And altho' State said they closed the Visa Express program, they just changed a bit of its implementation. I remember reading somewhere that now, instead of going to the consulate to submit an application, Saudis can just go to a travel agent. And State still refuses to enforce post-9/11 laws on eligibility 'assumptions'. Here's some background from about 6 months ago.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/002916.php

Google 'State department+Saudi visas'. Lots of stuff.

Hey Niko, long time no talk to! I didn't write that question very clearly did I? Why is the CDEU in coalition talks with SPD in Schweslig-Holstein for heaven's sake? And is this visa scandal hurting the SPD even more in the next elections?

Also I see this little tidbit:

BERLIN - A retired German ambassador on Wednesday called on Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to resign over a series of affairs including a visa scandal and a row over cancelling death notices for German diplomats who were members of the Nazi party.

Dietrich von Kyaw, who served in the key post of German ambassador to the European Union until 1999, said in a ZDF TV interview that the current crisis in Berlin's foreign ministry was Fischer's fault.
http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=26&story_id=18791&name=Former+ambassador+calls+on+Fischer+to+resign

I still don't understand Fischer's motivation. Or was this just sloppiness on his part?

Matt,

I think Florian can distinguish between a non-refundable fee and a bribe. He was complaing most about a suggestion that he buy a visa.

A system designed to make us popular overseas is not the first or even the tenth criterion on the listwhen it comes to designing a system for regulating who enters one's country. No one has any kind of basic right to enter someone else's country; that is never anything other than a privelege.

But you are right about Americans not having any grounds for smugness in this area. Corruption and visa fraud are big problems, quite naturally considering the size of the demand for htose services.

Has anybody already asked Joschka Fischer wether he got payment fur human trafficking?

Matt, not all tourists have to pay a fee, many don't need visas such as Germans who can stay 90 days or so without a tourist visa. It's not fair for those wanting to visit from countries that require visas, but that's how it is.

Nevertheless the US has the most messed up immigration policies possibly conceived. To legally become a permanent resident one must jump through hoops, pay enormous application fees, go back and forth to the department of homeland security for various things and in the end they may just deny the visa. As far as illegal immigration is concerned, the federal government has never really cared. The borders are wide open, but they're putting all their efforts into other things. The pandering by the government (Bush is really bad about this) to the hispanic community is stopping anything useful from being done to stop the wave of people crossing the border. Fischer may have given out visas, but that doesn't seem much different than the US government's policy of allowing anyone into the country, as long as they sneak across the border - once they get in, they're pretty much in for good. Actually Fischer's idea was better, at least you would know exactly who those people were coming in.

SleepinginSeattle

>>As far as illegal immigration is concerned, the federal government has never really cared.

How right you are. But the reason is economic. The agricultural labor provided by illegals is worth a fortune to the producers. I'm very ambiguous about Bush's AgJobs bill. I understand how he's trying to fix the problem and not undercut the growers, but without adequate enforcement, which is NOT provided by the bill, it's an invitation to every bad guy on the planet.

bunch of homo nazis

Note from David: Now I'm irritated, little - what's from your point of view the intended insult? Being homo or being a Nazi?

And thanks for commenting in our blog. We appreciate your input.

david just has to figure out if the insult is against germans or americans, if it was against the latter, he would have deleted the post already...

Note from David: Quality is the benchmark, my friend.

Question -

Although I agree with you that Fischer is a howling cad of the lowest sort and that the Visa policy was truly a scandal, the coverage, and the debate, such as it is, still seems a bit shrill - we hear of "millions" of people who abused the system, but of those millions, how many have subsequently gone on to commit crimes or even just settled illegally in Germany or other Schengen countries?

It would make for a far stronger attack on Fischer and his Green party loons if we could point to some evidence of the consequences (especially financial) of his crimes.

Have you seen any good evidence along those lines?

Note from David: Hero, the German media reported on some isolated cases of consequences of the visa scandal, but you're right: the statistics on the abuse of the visa system are scetchy at best. I tried to obtain data from official sources but to no avail. What you have to realize is that it is politically incorrect in Germany to talk about criminal acts committed by foreigners. Even the newspapers have often stopped naming the nationality of a thief.

Another rather funny example of political correctness in Germany is that the police in press releases does not use the words "Zigeuner" or "Sinti" or "Roma" anymore, if crimes of gypsies are reported. They now use the expression "members of a mobile ethnic group".

Maybe the hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans who obtained visa through Fischer's system really just wanted to see the Cologne dom?

Did Florian indicate he was a muslim on his visa application? It would be approved faster, and they might send him a plane ticket.

visa rejected
Yes Flori I have the same problem as you and my visa was rejected.
For a business visa I put,
10.000E or more in one bank account as a deposit.
visa cards olso with me
4 visa entry in Germany with a 2 years Italian Shcengen visa.
2 yars business with a German Company and buying monthly 20.000E from this.
For business reasons the visa is purely for me not only important, but necessary.
Regards,Alket

sir please i want to come to germany but have not gone to embasy for visa
please is thier any help you can give me to obtain one

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