Closed for Business

by Chris Markham. 0 Comments

It’s interesting. I do some immigration work here and there and its’ always fairly challenging. Of course, I don’t get the slam dunk lay-ups – I get the guy that’s been married four times and has brought four wives and a fiancé over to the US. Or, I get someone that forgot to renew their green card. For three years.
That sort of stuff.
A lot of us that were looking to make a big splash in the old immigration law market are seeing their hopes and dreams swirling down the Rio Grande, as thousands of illegal immigrants jump the border into the waiting arms of the U S of A. All those kids, handed up to the US with the expectation of our politicians to allow them to live here unchecked and vaguely processed.
Why go through the time, effort and expense of actually going to an attorney, filling out some forms, getting a physical and having an interview with an American Consul when all you really have to do is jump in and make a swim for it. That’s what people are doing these days, and, notwithstanding the effect it’s having on my personal fortune, I’m concerned as to how it could harm our country.
Before you go off and say that I hate immigrants, I have a dirty little secret – believe it or not, people in my very FAMILY – even ones that are but a generation or two behind me – were immigrants. Most of the people I know and work for either came here or their parents came here – FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. I also am fairly familiar with the arguments that, without immigrants, we’d have no railroads, our beer would taste worse than it already does and that immigrants have contributed to our country and our culture in innumerable ways.
All that is beyond argument.
But one thing most of the above-mentioned people have in common is that they came over here correctly. I’m not a fan of immigration quotas – if you want to live here, by all means, have at it. Be sure to get a job – USCIS checks on those things. But the rationale for following the process is many-fold. First, you have to fill out some paperwork and pay a fee. This shows you’re serious and you’ve put some time into making the decision. You will likely leave loved ones behind. Everything you’ve ever known will be different. Those that just up and one day jump the fence aren’t usually equipped to handle life here. If you haven’t researched and thought about making the move deeply, you will have issues with life here in America. And when people have issues, innocents and taxpayers pay for your rashness.
Second, you have to get a clean bill of health in your own country. There is a requirement that you be a healthy individual before you can come on in. This isn’t to ensure that immigrants are healthy enough to be employed (and thus be taken advantage of by our evil capitalist society). Rather, it’s to ensure that you don’t unwittingly expose the land of milk and honey to various regional and local diseases for which we have no immunity and no cure. Take a look at the Ebola plague going around Africa. If we let that into our country unchecked, there wouldn’t be anyone left to clean up the mess.
Third, you have to go to interview with a consulate. Again, this shows that you’re serious about immigrating. But it also weeds out those coming over here on fraudulent pretenses. People that claim to be married, people that claim to be getting married, people that are mules and really didn’t fill out their paperwork and people that the Embassy feels will be a drain on the country’s resources are denied entry.
This step is of additional importance, as the interviewer would have a decent (enough, I know that in the past mistakes were made) that the person, or people sitting before them is not a member of a drug cartel, a sinister gang or an Islamic Fundamentalist hell-bent on delivering a bomb at some point after entry.
Finally, taken as a whole, this is a process that has worked for years. Is it the best we can do? Probably not. But because this is such a sensitive and important procedure for both parties, it shouldn’t be ignored.


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