Instead of supporting new infrastructure jobs in America through an energy independence-enhancing project that has bipartisan legislative support on Capitol Hill, the president flew to Disney World to peddle looser visa restrictions in China and Brazil by executive order. He also will expand the Visa Waiver Program (a security loophole-ridden program that was suspended temporarily after the 9/11 terrorist attacks) to speed foreign travel.
In case anyone needs reminding, it was the relentless drive of the tourism industry and kowtowing State Department bureaucrats that led to the Bush-era Visa Express Program, which relaxed visa policies, eliminated in-person consulate interviews and opened the door to the 9/11 hijackers. Brazil is just the latest base for al-Qaida and other Islamic jihadi groups. It does not consider Hezbollah or Hamas terrorist groups, and it disbanded its anti-terrorism force in 2009.
The Visa Waiver Program and other efforts to expedite the tourist visa process also pose continuing security risks because -- as the Government Accountability Office itself admitted last year -- there is still no comprehensive, systematic way to track the 70 million-plus foreign visitors who enter the country on tourist and other short-term visas. Indeed, half of the nation's estimated 20 million illegal aliens are visa overstayers.
How many of the new Disney foreign tourists whom Obama is touting as America's economic salvation will fail to return to their home countries after their Obama World visas expire? We'll likely never know. And Team Obama doesn't care.
In his opening campaign ad salvo, Obama accuses his opponents of being "untethered to facts." But this is an administration that believes lowering visa standards and risking homeland security to pump up Disney foreign tourism is a better path to economic recovery than supporting direct American job creation and enhancing energy security. Like the Disney characters he posed with this week, our cartoonish president is wholly untethered to reality.
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