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US always ready to welcome Thais

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Re: “Thais in the US fear Trump’s harsh immigration policy”, Front Page, February 9.

Contrary to this article, the United States remains an open and welcoming destination for Thai scholars and travellers. 
Joining more than one million other international students, over 7,000 Thais chose to study in the US last year, putting Thailand among our top sources of international students. Thais studying in the US gain skill and experience studying alongside the world’s best and brightest. 
Academic opportunities in the US not only enhance the lives and academic development of these visitors but also enrich the US institutions that host them. US colleges and universities are known for academic excellence, technological innovation and creative critical thinking, due to the unparalleled diversity on US campuses.
 Recognising the value that Thai students bring to US campuses, the US Embassy in Bangkok offers free education advice through EducationUSA to pair students with universities, help them obtain scholarships, and navigate the admissions and visa processes. 
We want these students, researchers, and scholars to return to Thailand after their studies not only to further the Kingdom’s success, but with a deeper understanding of our country, which strengthens the mutual understanding between our two peoples. These personal ties are the most important element of the enduring friendship between our nations.
 Also according to the article, Suthichai Yoon highlighted a single Facebook post that falsely claimed 70 Thais were recently arrested in Miami as a result of intensified enforcement of immigration laws. There is no basis for that claim, nor for the claim that US law enforcement authorities have increased enforcement actions. 
The US, like Thailand, has immigration laws to regulate the flow of visitors, immigrants, and migrant workers. Those laws facilitate travel to the US by millions of people every year who benefit from the US visa system for business, education and tourism. The people of Thailand are, and will remain, very much welcome in the United States. 
Melissa Sweeney
Spokesperson, Embassy of the United States of America, Bangkok

Published : February 10, 2017