The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) applauds Congress for passing legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security….
The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) applauds Congress for passing legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security. TIA believes this consolidation will lead to better coordination and cooperation between agencies responsible for border inspection, security and law enforcement. This landmark legislation will consolidate all or part of 22 federal agencies with 170,000 employees, a $37 billion annual budget, and responsibility for guarding U.S. borders and ports-of-entry, and providing for homeland defense.
Securing our borders and facilitating travel must go hand-in-hand as our nation continues to combat terrorism, remarked William S. Norman, President and CEO of the Travel Industry Association of America. Congress and the Administration must ensure the quest for a more secure homeland does not come at the price of discouraging legitimate international travel into the U.S. Both national security and economic security must continue to be national priorities.
In addition to collapsing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and U.S. Customs into the new Department of Homeland Security, this new cabinet-level department will also be responsible for policies regarding issuance of non-immigrant visitor visas overseas. This is an area of great concern for TIA and its members since long delays in visa issuance are currently having a negative impact on international travel to the U.S.
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