A regular and respected commenter at Fr. Jake’s place noted that as a Brazilian national going to school in the US, he regularly endures extra attention and luggage inspection when traveling back into the States. And in an aside, he claims that US consular officials in Sao Paolo and Rio allow personal prejudices to influence the visa applications process. If true, this is absolutely disgusting and un-American… and I cannot wait for change to happen from the top down this fall.
Unfortunately, diplomatic officials can be horribly entrenched. And so can their attitudes.
Seriously. US citizens have no idea how misrepresented they are by their immigration personnel. The US consulate in São Paulo is widely known for being homophobic (if they have a slight hint you have a homosexual partner in the US, they simply deny any kind of visa). The US consulate in Rio was involved in a recent scandal regarding racism (Black Brazilians were much more denied tourist visas than white Brazilians). Immigration Equality tried to work out the situation of a Brazilian who was denied a visa because he had a partner in the US (the guy had a student visa and was enrolled in law school). Not even the ambassador of the US in Brazil could change the visa denial.