Too Big to Work

For the first time in the history of this blog the blogger took a month off from writing. It feels good. The time has come, however, that I must resume posting. Today I am overloaded with ideas and the result is I’m confused. There is nothing worse than a writer who has a confused mind. I hope today’s result turns into something worth your time to read.

Lovely and I are beginning to settle down to a more normal life. In the past month she and I had to prepare for an Immigration interview. For those of you like me who have never had to face off with Uncle to answer a seemingly unlimited number of questions dealing with your personal life, I can only say that it is intimidating. At the same time Lovely had to renew her passport, which in itself is not a big deal, except she decided to keep my name, and to change it on her passport. The passport is easy, changing the name is a little bit more complicated. All of it involved searching for birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and a new marriage certificate. Still pretty simple except that foreign governments don’t want documents in a language different than theirs. This has forced me to get proficient at finding interpreters, and the meaning of the word “Apostille.”

Add to this pressure a decision by Lovely’s grandson to accept our invitation to come and live with us. After spending three years clearing my home of unnecessary stuff I find myself absorbing the grandson’s stuff which includes the stuff of his recently deceased father who lived in a three bedroom house with a two car garage loaded with stuff. There were days in the past month when I didn’t have the energy to drag myself into bed at night.

Since the tension of passing the point of knowing that Lovely will not be deported is over life has become a little easier. I can deal with moving stuff, but dealing with the Department of Homeland Security-US Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services leaves me a bit frazzled. When I hear the words “our immigration system is broken” I now kind of understand what they are talking about. One question just keeps coming into mind over, and over, why did we allow it to get this way?

I see a new profession being formed in the USA. Actually, it is already in business, i.e. Immigration Lawyers. What I really see is that the need for people who can negotiate the too many forms and loop holes contrived over years of Congressional band-aids correcting the system will require a complete annihilation of the USCIS and every law regarding immigration. A new sheet of paper is necessary and the law should be limited to one page.

As an example, one of the last requests an immigrant in this process has to complete is Form I-693. I downloaded form I-693 and it is thirteen pages long. After reading it, I concluded that it is not even good toilet paper. Those pages merely explain that an immigrant must have inoculations for various diseases. That information can be stated on a half a page. Most of the boiler plate deals with the ramifications of falsifying information, and how long one will spend in federal prison if he does so. The USCIS can save a lot of money, and make things simpler by removing paragraphs stating what kind of trouble you will have if you falsify any bit of information on a form. Every form, and there are thousands of them, contains threats to lock you up. Getting back to I-693, the final result is a medical form completed by a registered Civil Surgeon declaring you are disease free and inoculated. The CS must sign it, date it, and seal it in a number ten envelope, and the immigrant must present this sealed report to the immigration officer conducting the interview (more like an interrogation). The initial application is a many page questionnaire which is completed at home, and sent in. The interrogator has the form with your answers in front of him during the interview. He asks the same questions that the immigrant has already answered, and is merely waiting to trip up the victim with an answer that is different. The idea, I suppose, is to determine if the victim can be prosecuted for falsifying his answers.

Here is my prediction on the matter of fixing immigration law in the USA, it’ll never happen. The bureaucracy is too large and the backlog of thousands of immigrants now being shuttled across the border illegally will take a thousand years to fix. I am in favor of a complete amnesty only if it comes with a totally new and streamlined immigration process, but Congress doesn’t have the balls to do the work.

If we as citizens of the USA want to have a great government we must decide to eliminate every unnecessary bureaucracy, and there are many of them. It boils down to asking ourselves what good does a specific bureau do for us? If you are honest with yourself you will realize that each and every department invented by government to make our lives better are doing the opposite. The cost of paying millions of employees to sit and invent forms is too great to support.

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