Bush Border Control Policy Sinks Chicago’s Olympic Bid

Chicago Loses Bid for 2016 Olympic Games

It looks as if the Bush administration policy on making it much harder to get a US visa (which Obama has yet to alter) has come home to sink Chicago's Olympic bid:

In the official question-and-answer session following the Chicago presentation, Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, asked the toughest question. He wondered how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because doing so can sometimes, he said, be “a rather harrowing experience.”

This is the same stupid anti-visitor policy that is destroying American higher education by driving graduate students to UK and other universities. Here at UM, for example, we have had great trouble getting visas for some great students who want to take our LL.M for foreign students — including one who had a US government scholarship!

Maybe some good can come from this stunning defeat for Obama's personal diplomacy: bring back the pre-9/11 visa rules that made this country a magnet for tourists, investors, and the world's best and the brightest.

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9 Responses to Bush Border Control Policy Sinks Chicago’s Olympic Bid

  1. planetspinz says:

    Twelve million Europeans were killed by Nazis (6 million were Jewish). Why would any European vote for America to host the Olympics when they see TEAGAGGERS waving signs calling the President of the United States Hitler, and accusing anyone who did not vote for RepubliKKKans Nazis.

  2. Just me says:

    Rio seemed like the obvious choice here. No South American country has ever hosted the Olympics. The US has hosted eight: 1904 (summer), 1932 (winter), 1932 (summer), 1960 (winter), 1980 (winter), 1984 (summer), 1996 (summer), and 2002 (winter); making Chicago a less than appealing choice. England gets the 2012 summer Olympics (pretty much eliminating Madrid), and Beijing just had the last one (pretty much eliminating Tokyo). I don’t think this decision is a surprise.

    The border control policy may have had some impact, but I suspect that Rio was a shoe in from the moment the four finalist cities were picked.

    Then again, what the heck do I know.

  3. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Rio was the obvious choice of the four, and even J-A Samaranch calling in all his markers for Madrid didn’t change that.

    But for some additional irony: Brazil photographs and fingerprints American visitors — and only Americans — as a tit-for-tat for Brazilians (and most other visitors to the US) being photographed and fingerprinted and visa-stalled and generally screwed around.

  4. Unfortunately, every city that hosts the Olympics has used the preparations as a pretext to destroy shantytowns and otherwise round up and abuse/remove poor people. So Chicago has dodged a blow. Rio, however, has a terrible record in this area. See e.g. http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGNAU2009070711320&lang=e

    It seems only sensible that the Olympic Committee should enforce human rights standards for the cities where Olympic Games are held. But is there any organized campaign to see that they do?

  5. Unfortunately, every city that hosts the Olympics has used the preparations as a pretext to destroy shantytowns and otherwise round up and abuse/remove poor people. So Chicago has dodged a blow. Rio, however, has a terrible record in this area. See e.g. http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGNAU2009070711320&lang=e

    It seems only sensible that the Olympic Committee should enforce human rights standards for the cities where Olympic Games are held. But is there any organized campaign to see that they do?

  6. Mitch says:

    There is something else besides olympic cities rounding up homeless and destroying shanty towns. I believe that every olympics – at least in my memory – has been a net economic failure in terms of the cost of setting up the venues compared to usage during and after the olympics.

    Calgary took a huge hit, and that was the winter olympics, which is not even close in scale to the summer olympics.

    Our last was Salt Lake City, which was rife with corruption and awarded until extremely dubious circumstances.

    I would still like to see an olympic event live someday, maybe I can think of an excuse to go to Rio.

  7. Adam says:

    lol, I don’t think Chicago needs to Olympics to remove the projects/poor people. Visited Cabrini Green lately?

  8. Rhodo Zeb says:

    These people are idiots, and should be called out for their stupidity on every possible occasion. They need to be run out of town on a rail, in the modern, electronic sense. No one should ever treat them seriously, ever again.

    Pseudonymous in NC, interesting you mention the row between the US and Brazil about fingerprints. I know a lot about that, because the arrogance of the Bush administration pissed off lots of people.

    From 2005 or so, visas for Americans to China became more restricted that for Europeans, and the reason was that the Bush admin just unilaterally, arrogantly imposed the new requirements without consultation with or respect for other nations.

    The cost of the US visa for Chinese, at least, went up by about 100 dollars, which I believe more than doubled the price.

    Brazil ended up making a stink about it, seizing that pilot if you remember, but China was pissed too, and quietly took revenge. Just another failure for Bush / Cheney, may they all rot in prison.

  9. Magnifying says:

    “Rio seemed like the obvious choice” – what are the facilities like though? Are they up to scratch or in need of large scale investment?

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