September 26, 2007

Immigration Madness

The news is full of talk about immigration... again/still. People are fussing and fussing about what to do with the illegal immigrants, those people who sneak into our country and get subversive jobs like picking fruit, flipping hamburgers, cleaning houses, investment banking, nuclear physics, or whatever else it is that doesn't pay enough money to lure unsuspecting Americans into sustaining the near constant verbal abuse and assault from Naomi Campbell's or Russell Crowe's flying phones.

Republicans seem to be flipping out over the word "amnesty." I don't understand, but I can't control other people's blood pressure. They're also complaining that these people would have gotten away with breaking the law.

I dare say that we all break the law from time to time and it doesn't matter if you're Republican or a particularly nimble maid. The reason is because the law sucks. I need a new paragraph for emphasis here.

If you can't mind your own damn and not break the law, then the law is wrong.

These Canadians who come scooting in here trying to rhyme 'house' and 'coast' and 'about' and 'boot,' they're largely harmless. If you don't like their poems or dirty limericks, this is America. You can stage a burning of all your Canadian poetry books if you want. In your own yard. With a permit.

And these other people with rich, tan skin and dark, wavy hair and rippling muscles that glisten in the sun...


Yeah! So there!

I want to talk about the horrible, horrible mess we put our LEGAL immigrants through. It's no wonder some people prefer to do like Dig-Dug to get here rather than suffer all the paper cuts from the bureaucracy that is INS. I want to tell you a story about someone I work with.

M is a super nice lady. She's pleasant, very smart, meticulous, super productive, and overall a joy to work with. She's a developer and when she works on my projects, they rock the house from coast to coast.

Well, she and her husband are foreigners hailing from a certain country with an excess of monkeys and cobras. And they're both working here under his visa. Apparently, he HAD a visa that would allow him and his spouse to work here. Some time ago, they found out that his corporate sponsor was changing the sponsorship to be just an H1 visa which only allows one person to work under it.

So, they both had to apply for H1 visas. And apparently there was some kind of lottery or something, I don't know, but he got one and she didn't.

This means that Friday is M's last day with our company.

She is trying to be a law-abiding, contributing member of society, but due to our ridiculous immigration policies and processes, she is mandated BY LAW to sit at home all day. Oh, she can still make use of the various public services that we provide to people here in this country, but she's not allowed to contribute to supporting those services.

This is utterly and completely absurd. She is a skilled worker and an above-average performer. Her efforts generate lots and lots of wealth for our company. But she is, starting Friday, forbidden to work in this country under penalty of law.

We've been brainstorming all sorts of hair-brained ideas about how to circumvent the law, but she doesn't want to do that. If she does break the law, it could put her husband's visa at risk and her future chances for visas and/or citizenship. She also dislikes the idea of being dishonest.

It's confounding and frustrating.

Update: I mentioned INS above, but it turns out that it's not INS. It's the Department of Homeland Security. Hmph!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at September 26, 2007 08:32 AM | TrackBack

It most certainly is. I had a friend who married a New Zealander. They thought everything was OK with his paperwork, left the country on their honeymoon, and he couldn't get back in for 6 months.


Posted by: Monica at September 26, 2007 09:24 AM

Yeap. I had a similar experience. It's why I chose to leave the US than live there dishonestly. The worst and most painful part was being forced to separate from my partner of five years.

It's the law that's illegal, not the ones breaking it.

Posted by: Ergo at September 26, 2007 09:27 AM

This is terrible! And the injustice is magnified by how stupidly unnecessary it is! There isn't even an imaginary reason why your co-worker is being kept out: it's pure bureaucracy. How evil!

Posted by: Inspector at September 26, 2007 11:28 AM
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