Okay, so I had a blog all worked up in my head about cannibalism, but then I read the more recent comments on my previous blog and felt my blood begin to boil. And not at the commenters, but at what they revealed to me that I’d not known. Now I have my naive moments, and I certainly don’t know everything about . . . well, anything, but I do know something about a lot of things, and one thing I am absolutely certain about is that when it comes to immigration and issuing tourist visas, our country has it all screwed up.
Now, my blog title is a bit of an over the toppism, and I do know that, but I’ve been boiling over lately as I think about Tally waiting over a year, jumping through numerous hoops (interviews, applications, medical checks, background checks, etc.) to emigrate to the U. S. to be with the man she loves. Okay, just that bit doesn’t boil me over so much as watching the May Day stuff on television and knowing that she’s waiting patiently, doing all the necessary legal things and knowing that I’m personifying a far greater problem in her (how many thousands must there be, waiting and waiting?). All while illegal immigrants prance around in our streets with signs declaring themselves illegal and not being kicked out immediately. I’m not sure, but if a criminal waltzes around with a sign saying “I’m a pedophile” or “I’m a tax dodger” can’t someone at least look into it, maybe see if there’s a crime and then prosecute?
But of course we’ve got illegal immigration issues here, don’t we? And I’ve (of course) blogged my say on it. Just a quick look at the controversy:
There are millions of illegal immigrants in this country right now, and according to some, they are the only thing that keeps our economy afloat. In part because they will do jobs that (supposedly) Americans won’t do (which is just not true, Americans would do the jobs just NOT for below the federally mandated minimum wage and benefits–um, they won’t do the jobs illegally, in other words), and in part because there are so many here that they’ve wiggled their way into our economic infrastructure.
Our borders are ridiculously easy to cross (how else to explain all the illegals?), and our visa / INS system has LONG been broken. Do we look to fixing those? Sort of. Or do we look at fixing problems of benefits and protections going to people who do not pay taxes for them, who do not have a right to them? Well, they demand our rights, they demand citizenship. And some people want to give it to them in the form of an amnesty bill; this bill is in its second or third incarnation now, but it’s essentially saying that everyone here illegally will be grandfathered into the country providing they pay some kind of fine or tax.
Between our illegal immigration problem and our far more recent national security problem, we’ve apparently made it all but impossible for people to visit this country legally. These are the two narratives that sparked this blog (btw, I would never post anything sent to me privately, at least not without first getting permission to do so, these were publicly posted on my previous blog):
The first time I went to visit the land of the free was no problem. I lived and worked in Sydney at the time, so I got a visitors visa there, no problem.
But two years ago, when I worked in China I wanted to get a visa and I was utterly humiliated and denied one after they made me wait in a freezing room for more than five hours. Apparently it was because my passport was full of foreign visas, which looked out of place to the people working at this consulate in Shanghai. I only wanted to pop over with my husband to visit his parents who have been living in the States for twenty years, and we just happened to have a two weeks gap between jobs. The whole family was so excited, at the time they haven’t seen each other for seven years (which is nine by now). Hubby refuses to go to visit without me, so they will probably never see each-other, as my passport is still pretty full with visas.
The questions went like this:
What did you do in Taiwan? Why were you in Germany? Why did you get married in Australia? Why not in Ireland if your husband is Irish? What about Sweden? Why do you apply for a visa in China? How come you are a rep. of a German company if you are not traveling on a German passport? Why do you have a Hungarian citizenship if you were not born there? And so on. The info in my passport was too much for them to digest. I had steam coming out my ears, believe me.
I have always been a hard worker, and it just happened that I ended up being a rep. for the company I work for in Germany, which ultimately meant traveling purely for work and always always legally. After this scenario I even stopped buying Californian wine, which I loved before hand.
I love Europe, and I would never give it up to live the Land of the Free. And one day (in five years time)when my current passport expires and will get a brand new one, I will try to apply again. Not because I really want to go there, but because I want to see my hubby hug his Mom again after so many years, I want to see them cry from happiness. Till that day comes, they have to stick to the phone:)
And from Jenia:
Sorry that u had to face it, and u did right that u spoke up! I would do the same. Actually, I ALWAYS do cuz it’s a common thing in every russian store. In fact, there r way too many ignorant people here, and it’s driving me crazyyyy cuz I know things won’t change in this country for a while. U mentioned one more thing I have to comment on – US visa issue. it’s weird, but from what I know it’s pretty easy for the people who want to immigrate illegally to get to yr country, but simple tourists like me and my friends who want to come spend vacation in LA or NY and leave some cash there face way too many problems. I wanted to visit yr country long time but I don’t, cuz I aint gonna have them doing my damn fingerprints in the embassy then have some ol’ dirty bustard officer interviewing me with question like “now prove me that u won’t give up yr family, real estates, job etc in Russia for being a slut serving US citizens??” U probably think I’m joking but I’m not, that’s what one of my friends was asked, and when she yelled at the officer this a**hole rejected her visa request! it’s even more upsetting considering the fact that’s yr governnment thing… and that ordinary americans have nothing to do with it. So hun, ever thought to blog on the issue lol?
Now anyone who reads my blog will know that I practically worship Fanta for her fantastic talent, great sense of humor, and just plain fabulousness, and although Jenia is a newer friend of mine, I think an awful lot of her, too. So you can imagine how upset I was to read these narratives.
This is something that I, in my
strange little American bubble, hadn’t even considered, and it’s just such an outrage to me. I’m sorry, but I seriously think that we need to revisit and reconsider some aspects of policing our borders and monitoring people who come to this country. Granted, China is a communist country, and my country is a bit stupid about communism in the sense that we had that whole stupid “red scare” thing and McCarthy, and on and on. And granted, too, that the questions being asked of Jenia’s friend sound like they are more in the line of protecting Russia than America.
I just don’t get how we can have that group of six men about to go on a shooting rampage at Fort Dix wandering around our countryside buying automatic weapons and copying vids of al Quada in training, when one of my friends can’t come and see her hubby’s family and the other can’t come over here and get her party on. Ugh.
I may calm down and do a reasonable, fact and link filled blog on immigration, tourist visas, and that sort of thing.
A note about the pic: I chose that pic because it illustrates something that tends to go on in any debate be it about abortion (or life and choice) or here about the term “illegal”–semantic nitpicking. Sure the term “illegal alien” is offensive, and I know that Fanta hates it, and you can certainly argue that people can’t be illegal, just perform illegal acts. However, language is a system of signs and signifiers/ieds, and frankly, we all know what is meant by the term “illegal immigrant” and can call them “undocumented workers” or “sunshiny happy people” and it’s all the same at the end of the day. Nitpicking terminology and even the style in which an argument is presented is fun, sure, but ultimately, it’s meaningless and too quickly becomes tiresome.
______ And now for something completely different ______
I’ve got a shrimp blog on the barbie (hehe, annoying nudge of my great friend Ali over in Oz), and this whole cannibalism one (not to mention something on angels that I’ve been musing over), so I want to go ahead and get started on at least one. Please indulge me in the following poll: