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No Visas Comrade!

13 Mar

By Gary Endelman

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/europe/12russia.html?ref=politics

Interesting tidbit in today’s newspaper of record that fans of the Visa Waiver program would be well to note. Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden join in supporting the idea of making Russia the latest member of the visa waive club. Whether this is a good idea or a bad one, Putin’s interest in advancing it, and Biden’s in promptly accepting it,  testify to Russia’s return as a great power and, equally importantly, to its status as the world’s leading oil producing nation. Whether it is getting Uncle Vladimir to agree to a No Fly Zone in Libya or making up the short fall in oil production resulting from the disruptions incident to the Arab awakening,  America is clearly looking for way to be nice to the Russians. The Obama Administration is to be commended for realizing that US immigration is an invaluable tool to advance our foreign policy and economic  objectives. Coming to the USA is something that lots of folks want to do. Visas are too important to give away. Let’s get something for them!