Ever since the terrorist attack on the twin towers on 9/11/2001, the United States and other countries have stepped up immigration protection at international borders and for good reason. Nevertheless, it is also true that some people have said these restrictions have gone too far. In a recent New York Times article, Larry Rohter talks about how immigration restrictions after 9/11/2001 have affected foreign performers, artists, and other entertainers. Specifically, the problem is that these foreign performers are unable to enter into the United States to give performances because their entry is being significantly delayed or even denied due to red tape in entering the United States. In fact, some international performers and performance groups have decided that is no longer worthwhile to try to enter the United States because the delays are just too extensive. To help alleviate the concerns, the United States does offer and expedited two week entry decision but it costs nearly four times as much as the regular application, which typically requires up to six weeks for a decision. Moreover, the government typically does not make decisions within the promised two week time frame so the extra money for the expedited process does not even guarantee a faster decision.
While such a problem may not seem overly concerning in the scale of things, many have voiced concerns about the ill effects such problems have on cultural exchange and international unity. Also, it is important to point out that these problems are essentially nonexistent for many other countries like Canada and Britain. Lastly, in addition to the concerns already mentioned, there are also reports that some of the delays result from racial profiling. While the United States’ government denied that this is the case, there is some evidence that the admission of Arab and Muslim performers typically involved longer periods of delay.