Trump’s order ‘not cause for concern’

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

On a business trip some time ago, I mistakenly entered Brazil without the proper paperwork.  Passengers stepping off the plane in Sao Paulo were directed to customs and, to my surprise and dismay, were asked for visas.

I approached the agent and apologetically told him that I had none, only a passport. I was asked to surrender my identification documents along with my phone and was taken to a glass containment room where I waited an entire day to be released. 

After being thoroughly vetted by agents who were finally convinced this was all a mistake, I was escorted back to an airplane routing me to Argentina where, at that time, a visa was not required of U.S. citizens. 

I landed and immediately went to the Brazilian Counsel to explain my situation and acquire a visa. Again questions, and not so pleasant this time — mostly asking why I felt I had the right to enter Brazil without a visa. 

Explaining my situation a number of times, procedural instructions were finally given to me. 

Three days later, paperwork arrived to allow my return to Brazil.

Here’s the point: Readers need to know that travel to some countries require, in many situations, not just proper paperwork, but — always — an absolute respect for customs and laws regarding entry into those countries. 

Ignorance and arrogance mean nothing and do nothing to help the traveler. So when visitors from outside the U.S. arrive here, with or without proper paperwork, they should expect questions from agents who are there to make decisions to keep America safe. 

President Donald Trump’s order to have visitors properly vetted and to temporarily halt visitors from countries where vetting has not been done properly is not cause for protest.

While some feel the need to apologize for clumsiness in executing the president’s latest immigration order, those folks and the few visitors, who were inconvenienced by it, should also understand the only right visitors have is to feel safe while they visit here. 

There is no obligation for the U.S. to allow foreigners from unfriendly areas, or from any country for that matter if they’re not properly vetted before entry into our country. 

The inconvenience this order created for the few visitors who were temporarily held for a short time at U.S. airports is not too great a price to pay for the safety of our citizens and, together, with themselves, other visitors in the U.S.