A Forbes Op-Ed writer wrote an article on “The GOP and Immigration” on December 17 where he lamented that, “Some American consular officials treat every prospective visitor as if he wants to stay in the U.S. illegally.” This statement, alone, demonstrates the shallowness of the writer’s understanding of the U.S. immigration system.

The scrutiny of visitor visa applicants by State Department consular officers that he is decrying is in fact their faithful discharge of the law. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 214(b) states, “Every alien …shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer …that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status…”

A consular officer who acts otherwise is violating the law.