All those scowling faces aren't doing much to help America's image:
US immigration and customs officials are viewed as "arrogant, rude and unpredictable" by foreign business travellers in a survey... a Focusing on the type of respondent most likely to hold favourable view of the US, it found that two-thirds... thought the US "the worst country in the world" in the way it treated foreign visitors at the border...
Earlier this year, Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, and Michael Chertoff, homeland security secretary, promised to tackle these concerns and improve the visa process, which in many countries can take months and cost hundreds of dollars. But last month Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, told the Financial Times that none of the promised measures had so far been introduced.
Note that we're not talking about surly, dope-smoking backpackers. It's the same old story, unfortunately. Public diplomacy always comes bottom of the list of priorities.