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 Home > News & Policies > May 2004

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2004

Global Message

From remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Harty, to the National Association of International Educators, 5/27/04

"The essential embracing spirit of America's attitude toward people is our greatest asset. And we must work together to ensure that our country remains a beacon for students, international tourists, immigrants, and business people." --Secretary of State Powell, 5/12/04

The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs is working to keep a balance between the needs of national security and legitimate travel and immigration in the United States, commonly referred to the "Secure Borders and Open Doors" policy.

Although security must always be our first priority, American government is committed to minimizing the impact of new procedures on legitimate travelers.

America's academic institutions are among our largest exporters of complex, high-value services and they engender good will.

The United States has benefited exponentially from foreign students in political, social, scientific, economic, and commercial fields.

The United States recently increased to one year the validity of the clearances granted to scientists and scholars who participate in joint research programs. Travelers who need to make repeated visits within a given year may now do so without consular officers having to recheck information.

The personal and professional relationships that are developed during these exchanges form a foundation of understanding and lasting partnerships between societies and cultures.