vatism and discrimination against certain countries, whose citizens are never issued multiple-entry student visas. What is indeed counter-intu- itive, is that the current visa security check process is actually penalizing a group of international students and scholars who have already been studying and living in the U.S. for years in good faith and character, for no reason but a temporary departure from the U.S. Why is this process taking so long? The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System was sup- posed to streamline the process. Why not set up a pre-departure clearance process for those who are already in the U.S. and need tempo- rary departure? Answers to these questions might help to balance the efforts to facilitate international education and exchange with those to screen out visa applicants who pose a threat to the U.S. He Huang Alumnus of Columbia University New York, N.Y. ■ J U N E 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 9 L E T T E R S A CKNOWLEDGEMENT The editors wish to thank Dr. Svante E. Cornell for the title of the April issue of the Journal , which focused on Central Asia. “Entrenched in the Steppes” was taken from the original title of Dr. Cornell’s lead article for the focus section, “The U.S. Redraws the Map” (p. 18).