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Legislation Alert : S. 1661 – Travel Promotion Act of 2007

Cross posted from InMuscatine

Legislation Alert : S. 1661 – Travel Promotion Act of 2007

Current Status : Scheduled for debate

Sponsor : [D-ND] Byron Dorgan

Co-Sponsors :

Democrats :

Akaka [D-HI]
Baucus [D-MT]
Biden [D-DE]
Bingaman [D-NM]
Boxer [D-CA]
Carper [D-DE]
Stabenow [D-MI]
Conrad [D-ND]
Durbin [D-IL]
Feinstein [D-CA]
Inouye [D-HI]
Kennedy [D-MA]
Kerry [D-MA]
Landrieu [D-LA]
Lautenberg [D-NJ]
Murray [D-WA]
Obama [D-IL]
Pryor [D-AR]
Schumer [D-NY]

Republicans :

Specter [R-PA]
Stevens [R-AK]
Vitter [R-LA]
Bond [R-MO]
Cochran [R-MS]
Coleman [R-MN]
Domenici [R-NM]
Ensign [R-NV]
Enzi [R-WY]
Hatch [R-UT]
Martinez [R-FL]
Smith [R-OR]

Synopsis : Establishes the Corporation for
Travel Promotion as a nonprofit corporation that is not an agency or
establishment of the U.S. government. Makes the Corporation subject to
the provisions of the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act.

Requires the Corporation, among other things, to provide
useful information to people interested in traveling to the United
States, counter and correct misperceptions regarding U.S. travel
policy, and promote U.S. travel.

Establishes in the Treasury the Travel Promotion Fund.
Requires the transfer of Treasury funds to the Corporation, requiring
nonfederal matching funds.

Authorizes the U.S. government, if a fully automated
electronic system is implemented to determine, in advance of travel,
the eligibility of an alien to travel to the United States, to charge
an applicant a system use fee.

Authorizes the Corporation to impose an annual assessment on
U.S. members of the travel and tourism industry represented on the
Board, provided industry members approve by majority vote in a
referendum.

Establishes in the Department of Commerce the Office of Travel
Promotion, to be headed by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel
Promotion.

Amends the International Travel Act of 1961 to require that
the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries expand its research and
development activities to promote international travel to the United
States.

Problems with the bill :

It creates yet another quasi-governmental body which does not
answer directly to the American people. Rather, it is steered by
Congress but the wording of the bill makes it clear it is not a
governmental agency. Got that? There is nothing here the travel
industry could not do by itself, but Congress is going to bring forth
this bureaucracy out of nothingness and then totally disavow it.

The members of this QGB (Quasi-governmental body) are to be
appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. Can you say “political rewards”?

On top of that, the entire travel and tourism industry as
represented by State organizations get a total of three seats on the
board. That’s it. One more board member must be – get this – a
“Federal” employee. And one shall represent “higher ed”. Political
paybacks anyone?

The board gets to set its own pay, and on top of the pay
(which we are certain will not be below the poverty level) they will
get a per diem AND travel expenses for every day when away from “his or
her usual place of residence”. We are certain addresses will be
changing very quickly away from Washington D.C. should a resident from
D.C. (or the surrounding area) be selected for the board.

AND THEN THERE IS THIS –

SEC. 5 ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION SYSTEM

(a) IN GENERAL- Section 217(h) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(h)) is amended by adding at the end
thereof the following:

(3) ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION SYSTEM-

(A) SYSTEM- The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is authorized to develop
and implement a fully automated electronic traveler authorization
system to collect such basic biographical information
as the Secretary of Homeland Security determines to be necessary to determine, in advance of travel, the eligibility
of an alien to travel to the United States under the visa waiver program.

(B) FEES- The Secretary of Homeland Security may charge a to an applicant fee for the use of the system, which shall be–

(i) set at a level that will ensure recovery of the full costs of providing and administering the system;

(ii) available to pay the costs incurred to administer the system; and

(iii) include an amount, initially not more than $10, for transfer to the Travel Promotion Fund established by
section 4 of the Travel Promotion Act of 2007 necessary to ensure that the Corporation for Travel Promotion
established by section 2 of that Act is fully funded.

(C) VALIDITY-

(i) PERIOD- The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State shall prescribe
regulations that provide for a period, not to exceed 3 years, during which a determination of eligibility to travel
under the program will be valid. Notwithstanding any other provision under this section, the Secretary of Homeland
Security may revoke any such determination at any time and for any reason.

(ii) LIMITATION- A determination that an alien is eligible to travel to the United States under the visa waiver
program is not a determination that the alien is admissible to the United States.

(iii) JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review an
eligibility determination under the system.

(D) REPORT- Not later than 60 days before publishing notice regarding the implementation of the system in the Federal
Register, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report regarding the implementation of the system to the
Congress.’.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to
be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the
amendment made by subsection (a).

Do you see any wording in there where this will apply ONLY and
EXCLUSIVELY to non-US citizens wishing to enter the United States of
America? National ID cards for travel anyone?

AND JUST TO REMOVE ALL DOUBTS :

SEC. 203. RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) IN GENERAL-
The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries shall expand and continue
its research and development activities in connection with the
promotion of international travel to the United States, including–

(1) expanding access to the official Mexican travel surveys data to provide the States with traveler characteristics and
visitation estimates for targeted marketing programs;

Given the recent stumbles of for it-against it-for it-against
it Hillary Clinton in the area of illegal immigration, do you now have
to wonder why all the Northeast Liberals are on board EXCEPT her? Isn’t
NY one of the busiest “tourist” destinations for America? Do they have
more business than they can handle that they have to turn it away? Why
would Hillary NOT co-sponsor this bill unless it was in her best
interests politically to do so?

Why exactly are we specifically targeting MORE people from Mexico to come here?

Is this bill nothing but a back-door way to bring about amnesty by fiat?

If you think not, then ask yourselves – why doesn’t the travel business create their own travel promotion board?

We believe there are many dangerous things in this bill which
merit “eternal vigilance” from US citizens before they come to pass. We
also believe that Hillary not being a part of it tells everyone this
bill should be killed as quickly as possible

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration
(CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link
to learn more. Afterwards, email brianbonner90-at-gmail-dot-com and let
us know at what level you would like to participate.

 

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