Thank you for the blog in which a member of the Bettina Community wrote about his experiences trying to get a visa to attend a conference.
I have had the same experience of late and many times. Twice this year I applied for visa’s to attend conferences in the United States. The visa’s were not denied, they just didn’t arrive until two days after the conference started. Unfortunately I already had my airline tickets and accommodation reservations so I lost a bit of money. Rather, my institution lost a bit of money.
Last week Trump talked about all Chinese students in the United States were spies for the Chinese Government. I wondered at the time if that is how he is going to try to justify his visa policy keeping scholars out of the United States when they attempt to apply for visa’s to attend conferences.
I would like to add a look into the future at what is beginning to happen which will take care of that kind of meanness of spirit and bigotry the Trump administration is displaying. A change that will be negative for the United States on many levels. Conferences that are normally held in the United States are being put together to be held in other countries. It will take a couple years for that to be felt but it will negatively impact researchers in the United States as well as the United States economy. Not a large part of the economy, but conference attendees from the U. S. will spend money on airline tickets, but everything else will be spent in another country – accommodations – food – entertainment – touristy things, etc. Conference attendees from other countries will not even spend airline ticket money in the United States. All of their expenditures will go to other countries. So, in the long run, while this is really hurtful today, by 2020 that should be turned around and the United States will be on its way to becoming a lesser light in many important research areas through Donald Trump’s use of visa’s to be really mean against those who are not immigrants, nor trying to settle in the United States, but simply would like to attend a conference being held in the United States over a few days or a week or a couple weeks.
That is probably what will happen in several areas where Trump is trying to exert power over other countries. In this case, there are alternatives which will be good for research and collaboration because it will put those from other countries on a more equal footing and gradually they will surpass the United States. In other non-science areas the same thing will happen and you owe it all to your current president and his friends and allies.
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