The Foreign Service Journal, June 2003

hundred visa applicants were still patiently waiting. Another memorable time was when Moynihan was peeved at the Indians over their refusal to accept a proposed number of U.S. Fulbright scholars. He decided to close the consular section until permission was granted. Someone told him this was against regulations. “We’ll close for painting, then.” Mrs. Gandhi’s government got the message. The handful of requested American scholars were quickly readmitted, before any con- sular refurbishing could take place (alas). Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a gem, a pixie, an unorthodox voice in a bureaucratic world. I’ll never for- get him. Virginia Carson Young FSO, retired Washington, D.C. Homesick Students After the April snow when trees finally turn green at Columbia University, many foreign students prepare to leave campus to spend summer break at home. But this summer, many foreign students are seriously reconsidering plans to leave the U.S., because they don’t know whether they can come back. “I won’t go home this summer, because I am a chemistry major, which is on their (consular lookout) list,” said a Chinese student pursu- ing his Ph.D. at Columbia. “I really miss my family in China, but I don’t want to take chance.” Since last summer, more and more foreign students and scholars who are in the middle of degree or research programs at U.S. institu- tions and temporarily left the U.S. have had to undergo a “security check” procedure when applying for a re-entry visa. Many of them have waited for months before being notified of any status or results. A database for trapped Chinese students to share information has been set up, which already includes more than 300 cases. Some stu- dents have been waiting for over 10 months. Each year, thousands of interna- tional students and scholars come to U.S. institutions bringing academic and technological advancements that serve U.S. and global interests. Along with their American class- mates and friends, international stu- dents and scholars witnessed the tragedy of 9/11: the horror has been haunting them ever since. “We stand by the U.S. policy of tightened security and appreciate her great efforts and achievements in fighting terrorism,” said Jiang Zhu, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of the University of California, Berkeley. However, the current visa proce- dure has derailed study and research plans of many international students and scholars because the visa adjudication process is taking too long. This has caused many problems for students and U.S. institutions: significant delay in research projects; interruption of courses and examinations; loss of research funding, fellowships and/or teaching assistantships; inability to unite with family; and waste of rent, insurance, institution-paid office space, tuition, and facilities. It is in the U.S. national interest for the visa decisions, especially for those seeking re-entry visas, to be made as quickly as possible, consis- tent with immigration law and homeland security concerns. The current security delays seem to be neither an effective nor a reasonable measure to boost national security, but a reflection of extreme conser- 8 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U N E 2 0 0 3 L E T T E R S Web access to major advertisers. Go to . Click on Marketplace tab on the marquee. M A R K E T P L A C E Bukkehave Charles Smith Corp. Living Clements International Diplomatic Auto. Sales Executive Club Suites Georgetown Suites Intelsat Harry Jannette International Hawthorn Suites Hirshorn Company, The Laughlin Management Long & Foster NPCA Oakwood Remington SDFCU State Plaza WJDManagement www. For more information regarding AFSA branded products, mission related programs and membership in the American Foreign Sewrvice Association, see: