Bush’s Prison Planet Visa Policies the Reason the IOC Chose Rio over the U.S. for Olympics?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Despite President Obama’s best lobbying efforts, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may chose Rio de Janeiro over the U.S. to host the 2016 Olympic games in Chicago due to the post-9/11 visa tourist policies established by former President Bush, according to Michael Froomkin, Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. In fact, Froomkin is convinced that the “the same stupid anti-visitor policy that isdestroying American higher education also put the sunk Chicago’s Olympic bid.

A New York Times article points out:

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.”

A “harrowing experience” may be an understatement. Immediately after 9/11, the Bush Administration began requiring fingerprints and photographs of tourists from all but 28 countries entering the US. President Bush required that all foreigners register online within three days of travel. Thirty-five (mostly European) countries now participate in the US Visa Waiver program, however tourists from the rest of the world have to jump through the following hurdles:

  • Pay hefty visa processing and issuance fees.
  • Undergo an interview by a visa officer at the US Embassy.
  • Provide evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided.
  • Present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide financial support if the applicant does not have sufficient funds to support him or herself.

The average wait for a U.S. visa has risen to about three months. Brazil, has a reciprocal visa policy with all countries. U.S. tourists are required to fork out a $130 fee before entry into Brazil and are fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival, matching U.S. requirements for Brazilians.

H/T to Think Progress

This entry was posted in George Bush, International News, News, Olympics, Visa Requirements and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Bush’s Prison Planet Visa Policies the Reason the IOC Chose Rio over the U.S. for Olympics?

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    So if everything doesn’t line up perfectly, it’s possible an athlete could wind up not getting his or her entry visa on time to compete in the 2 week-long Olympic games event, rendering the host country without a competitor in the category? Sounds like a lot of time, money and bullshit for already burdened countries to have to deal with.

  2. Estacada says:

    The ridiculousness that was George W. Bush will be felt for generations to come.

    However, why didn’t the Obama administration think about the visa rules before pitching Chicago as the site for the 2016 games?

    How could they be so short-sighted?

  3. Idaho Librul says:

    There’s always a political component to the Olympics but meeting the Bush era visa threshold is science fiction.

    I’m surprised they don’t screen for health issues too.

    If you have a chronic disease or condition like HIV or diabetes, you’re denied entry into the USA.

    I’ve read several articles over the years about the drop in foreign tourism and now I can see why. I mean, who needs the headache and the expense?

  4. D.R.Scott says:

    God help us.

    Over at “Alternate Brain”, there’s a insightful post about what happens when you turn the United States into a mammoth gated community:


    Cause and Effect, folks.

  5. DMason says:

    After 9/11, everything changed. The Feds wanted U.S. citizens to fear the world; strangers; people who look or speak differently; or who worship in a way we’re not accustomed. In other words, Bush’s control over the population was achieved through fear. I never bought it. I feared his administration and their agenda more than I fear the world.

  6. McDaddy says:

    I think the visa issue is part of this. But the main reason is that the IOC was anxious to broaden its constituency. Choosing the United States or, say, Madrid would have continued the European bias in the process. So they broke away and chose Rio. I think it was a good choice.

  7. Did you see the Republicans cheering that the US didn’t get the spot? It’s only anti-American if the Democrats say anything. This is the childishness I have come to expect from the GOP

  8. bradfrmphnx says:


  9. libhomo says:

    This may have played a minor role, but the lack of support for the bid in Chicago was the main reason it placed last. Let’s congratulate the grassroots activist who successfully fought off a boondoggle that would have enriched the elites at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

  10. another reason was the IOC was extremely pissed off that the USOC (you know that bastion of honesty and openness) wanted to start an olympic channel for cable – using IOC product obviously – without consulting the IOC.

    they were in negotiations with comcast when “it dropped” all of a sudden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s