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Old 26-07-2003, 02:41   #1
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Unhappy Entering the USA from abroad these days

It seems we have to go to overseas sites to get some our news. An artical from the Philippines:

Marooned

Imagine how the Statue of Liberty, that New York landmark that supposedly embodies the noblest spirit of a New World that opened its doors to émigrés from all over, must be looking these days, if its concrete countenance could but reflect its sadness.




Imagine that it can stare back at hundreds of sailors from the Philippines or some other poor country who, having been denied shore leave by yet only the latest in a series of United States government’s flouting of international practice, now stare forlorn at New York harbor, seeing the city that never sleeps but not setting foot on it.




This is the image painted in a New York Times story, and carried on our front page yesterday, to describe the impact of misguided policies of homeland security on thousands of innocent civilians from around the world.




The sailors, most of whom work nonstop aboard ships for six to 10 months, cherish such precious opportunity to go on shore even for at least one day, the story said. Yet even that has been denied them now, thanks to unreasonably strict new visa requirements that neither they nor their employers can meet. The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey estimates that at least 1,000 sailors were denied shore leave in just over a week in nine American ports. Imagine the overall human cost.




The port chaplains and advocates of seamen’s rights complain that the right to shore leave is enshrined in centuries of maritime law, as well as a convention of the International Maritime Organization. The United States has ratified the convention, but according to an advocate interviewed by the New York Times, it is one of a few countries requiring visas for shore leave. A visa costs $100, so why should a sailor earning on average $250 to $300 a month shell out that amount, with the risk of rejection or not being able to wait out the post 9/11 backlogs in visa applications? A big gamble, obviously.




A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, explaining the new, tighter rules, said that in a post 9/11 world, “we need to be very careful who is able to enter the United States.” Indeed. Except that, when you look back at the background of the 19 suicide hijackers of 9/11, you realize they got visas so easily and were backed up by tens of thousands of dollars in expense accounts, and had done a lot of globe-trotting, enough to enable them to come off as cosmopolitan travelers who would never invite suspicion. It takes a certain kind of mental set, years of training and brainwashing and being steeped in some lifestyle, to pull off the kind of big-time terrorism as 9/11. Not to mention lots of money. That should be clear by now to US authorities, unless they think a humble sailor from some Philippine province, with his $200 and his limited experience, can do something similar. Weird.







Please send your comments or feedback to newsfeedback@abs-cbn.com



TODAY EDITORIAL
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Old 26-07-2003, 07:26   #2
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This is exactly what one should expect to read in the NY Times, long recognized to have leftist socialist editorial policies. They have a reputation for being very supportive of every democrat party murmur and highly critical of anything advanced by the other side.

Witness how the Times continues to harpoon the administration about anything and everything imaginable.

It's ironic that foreign nationals are being inconvenienced as a result of the Homeland Security folks doing what they think is best to protect us.

Better late than never.
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Old 26-07-2003, 08:43   #3
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I'm withyou Augie!

It's those poor underdeveloped partial Muslim countries we really have to be worried about.

What I would like to know is where can we get the news on what the Homeland Security is doing. Rather than hearing it from overseas. And, I hear that the policy has changed coming back from the Carribian now.

Over here in the NW I see Canadian vessels in our waters all the time and wonder if they checked in with immigration. The Vancouver, BC area is over run with Middle Easterners which is worrysome.

It was a boat that brought Americans to this country in the first place but the times and the people have changed.
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Old 27-07-2003, 07:56   #4
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Terrorism must be fought

How good a time can you have in New York on $200-300 dollars for one night? I am certain beer can be brought aboard and violate the custom of commercial boats for one night. If I were one of the captains of one of those crews I'd turn a blind eye to a drunk crew for a day in port.

Like all leftist-socialist weenies NY Times underestimate the strength and understanding of the human heart. Who are they now claiming is victimized by the extremely reasonable Homeland security regulations?

Supposedly it is a group of third world sailors, now.

Really?

While they are poor and undereducated, is this group of third world sailors ignorant of the signifigance of the events of Sept. 11? They are world travellers, for goodness sakes!!!!

If I were one of those sailors I would understand why. I would not be sad for myself; I would be sad for those who died in the two buildings of the New York skyline are no longer visible to sailors, either.
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Old 30-10-2003, 20:07   #5
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Unhappy

Xenophobia / My dictionary puts it as a fear or hatred of foreigners. Shane
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Old 31-10-2003, 01:29   #6
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The attitude I'm witnessing in these posts is almost enough to put me off coming to this forum.

A terrorist working for months or years as a crewman on a cargo ship in order to sneak into the USA on shore leave to commit acts of terrorism?

It's so stupid its laffable.

"Just tell the people we face a threat and label the pacifists as unpatriotic" Herman Goering.
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Old 31-10-2003, 02:22   #7
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laffable

I was planning to stay out of this one, I really don't see the Cruiser's Forum as the place for political rhetoric, but laffable ?

If only the average terrorist's understanding of "deep cover" were as limited …

I'm no apologist for the current administration & have deep reservations about much of what's happening these days, but the fact remains that there are those out there that are actually capable of seizing heavy aircraft loaded with human beings & driving them into large buildings that happen to also be occupied by human beings.

These people didn't just get up one day, scratch their asses & wander off to jack some o' them thar airliners on a whim. Crewing a passage to a convenient port of call is well within a reasonable operational scenario.

Fact of the matter is, if such an entry were allowed (like the 19 or however many of them that just walked, flew & drove across the Canadian border) & if such an entry were to result in another hit list of 3000, we'd be screaming for the blood of those that didn't prevent such an obvious potential.

Again, I have deep reservations about much of what's going on these days but I have no trouble understanding any public official's preference for erring on the side of caution, most particularly in New York.

BTW, keep a more civil tone to your posts & you'll find my rebuttals to be much more gently reasoned. Others feel free to chime in on this point in particular, but I personally will not stay around if this BB degrades to the same sort of sophomoric spitting contest that I’ve seen on so many others.

Have a nice day, Troubledour
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Old 31-10-2003, 06:32   #8
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The first taste I recieved of the "Homeland Security Act" was when I was sailing back from N.Bimini into Port Everglades,Ft.Lauderdale shortly after 9/11.It had been a long,tiring trip sailing single-handed on a 26 footer.Even though I had left Bimini early in the day, by the time I reached Port Everglades it was around 7:30 pm.I heard on my VHF that the Dania cut was closed to the south. I needed to go on the cut in that direction to reach the marina were I had left my truck and trailer.I thought at first I had misunderstood the Coast Guard call on the VHF, but when I was met by patrol boats with mounted machine guns,and sailors carrying rifles, I knew they meant business. At the entrance to the Dania cut going south, there was an aircraft carrier,and two support ships.The sailors on the patrol boats told me that I had to travel north out of Port Everglades, or go back out to sea. Well, it was beginning to get dark, so I opted to travel north.I frantically was trying to find my guidebook for the area so I knew where I was going, while boat traffic swarmed around me.It was aggravating and annoying.Buy you know what? I was proud of my country,and the efforts that were being put in place to protect my country from having another incident like 9/11 from happening again.From the deck of a 26 ft.sailboat,you get a very respectful view of a U.S.aircraft carrier and warships.I found out later that a big aircraft show was occuring in Ft.Lauderdale, and that the security measures were in place for it.The following day when I was allowed to go south on the Dania cut, I observed F-16's and all other types of military aircraft shrieking overhead. It was an awesome sight to behold.The sleeping giant had been attacked, and the men of honor were ready to do their jobs. Two of them, which are my sons.IMO, the U.S had become complacent in our homeland security measures in the last decade or so.After 9/11, it amazed me that there were over 10,000 foreigners in the country on expired visas,etc.,and the government couldn't locate them. Our borders have been open for so long, the thought of a threat on our security was just unheard of. When 9/11 happened, it changed everything.It was a milestone in time. Things will never again be like they were prior to it. The Homeland Security Act, I applaud their efforts! God Bless America!
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Old 04-11-2003, 20:59   #9
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How bizarre its like saying I am happy how my neighbourhood is going while turning your home into a prison to combat rising crime. Sadly in our part of the world, fear dictates actions as well. As mariners we all know that fear can make all of us react in different ways, often not in a rational way resulting in poor choices or planning. Nationalism aside there are enough things at sea to worry about than to get worked up over political things. Shane
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