Re: [Debconf-team] [DC14] Portland team: DebConf in the USA
On Sun, 2013-03-17 at 08:53 +0100, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 17/03/13 01:30, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Hi Gunnar,
> > On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 07:26:26PM -0600, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> >> And as the mails I just sent, some salient questions for you:
> >> USA, the eternal debate
> >> =======================
> >> First, there's the obvious issue of going to the USA. Several European
> >> DebConf usual attendees voiced their opposition (and some didn't
> >> travel) to DebConf10, and several non-first-world will probably have a
> >> hard time getting the visa.
> > Thanks for giving us the opportunity to address this question.
> > I am aware that there are Europeans involved in Debian who were
> > conscientious objectors to DC10 being held in the US; and I applaud their
> My comments were not in the context of `conscientious objector' - I just
> thought the coverage of this issue in the bid needed to be beefed up a
> little bit, if for no other reason than to show respect for those who
> would be unable to attend
> > opposition to modern oppressive travel regimes and respect their personal
> > choice to not travel to conferences in the US. However, making this a
> > DebConf-level issue is a deplorable double-standard:
> > - Governments and airlines of EU nations are complicit in the enforcement
> > of the US's invasive security rules.
> > - The EU is not more friendly to visitors from (arbitrary) developing
> > countries than the US is.
> Looking at the stats:
> - 37 countries are in the US Visa Waiver Program
> - 72 countries (27 EU countries + 4 EEA countries + 41 `Annex II'
> countries) have visa-free EU travel:
> and the EU policy automatically extends to family members regardless of
> birthplace. In contrast, US policy is to assume that family members
> (with a US resident spouse or parent) are `conspiring' to migrate
> I've heard of cases where X has a US residence permit, and so X's
> son/daughter is almost automatically denied a visitor visa.
> My comments were only to demonstrate a contrast - there are countries
> that are easier to visit than the EU countries too.
> > - The (logistical and monetary) costs for getting a visa to the EU if you
> > must apply for one are not substantially different from those for getting
> > a visa to the US.
> Agreed, and my offer remains open, if the Portland team wants to fund
> calls to the embassy 0900 numbers for people requesting visa
> appointments, I'm happy to provide a WebRTC interface for that so
> individuals won't have to use their own phones to call.
> > - While the US immigration regime differs in some relevant details from
> > that in the EU, such as the fingerprinting requirement, the broad strokes
> > of the policies are the same.
> > by sponsoring plane tickets for developers in Canada and the US down to
> > Venezuela.
> My query was not about comparing Portland with Venezuela, it was simply
> about acknowledging the extent of this problem for the US, for any
> potential DebConf in any year
> >  http://www.debian.org/devel/developers.loc
> > Oh, and just to throw in some numbers: according to , 825 of 920 active
> > Debian developers (90%) live in countries whose citizens are eligible for
> > travel to the US without a visa. That includes the 37 visa waiver program
> When you consider that the remaining 10% is not an insignificant number
> of people and they make as valuable a contribution to the Debian project
> as anybody else, I think it is important for any DebConf bid to take
> some time to reflect on their travel situation.
I can't see where it was said that 10% is an insignificant number and
that those people aren't valuable to Debian. I see these numbers more as
a way to think that it's not time to put energy on setting a WebRTC
interface for a small percentage of another small percentage of people
who may or not have problems and who eventually would need or not to
make an international call to the US embassy.