I've said it before and I'll happily repeat it: I love (going to) the United States, but I dread the employees of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as they manage to make a German shepherd on acid look quite friendly by comparison. In short, even though I did apply for a Green Card, I would rather eat three bowls of Special K soaked in gasoline than encounter one of those rather frustrated sons of a gun that pass for government employees on American airports.
Fortunately, I am not the only one who thinks this way. In fact, visitors to the US now dread the DHS more than terrorists. Money quote:
US immigration and customs officials are viewed as "arrogant, rude and unpredictable" by foreign business travellers in a survey by the Discover America Partnership, a group of US business leaders concerned about the impact on the economy.
"We deliberately sampled an elite group of business travellers who are more likely to feel positive towards the US than most people in their own countries," said Geoff Freeman, the director of Discover America Partnership. "All they are asking is to be treated with respect, professionalism and courtesy: they are not asking for America to reduce its security measures."
Respect, professionalism and courtesy are three words I have never, ever associated with US immigration officials. How can a country which harbors such a friendly people hire such rude a**hats to extend the first welcome?
Update 21 November, 2006, 19.47: Rogier wasn't too happy about the INS either, when he decided to become a citizen.