Friday, November 02, 2007

A Shot At America

A couple of years ago, at a friend’s request, I broke my own in-house rule and got involved in an immigration case. My friend told me this was a special case and it was indeed.

My client was a person of color. She was a product of a British colonial public school system. She spoke perfect, British accented English and had wonderful manners. If I remember correctly she also spoke French as well as her native tongue. She was bright, engaging and very eager to become an American citizen. If her visa would have allowed her to work she would have. But it did not and she would not disobey the law by working for cash in the underground economy.

Mistakes had been made in her application process and her request for political asylum in the U.S. was denied even though there was no guarantee that she not would be arrested as soon as she stepped off the plane in her home country for the dual crimes of being born into an upper class family and western educated. Some of her family members had been declared subversive influences because they were intellectuals.

This girl deserved a shot at America. It was denied her. It is sad to say that the American immigration system is racist but it is. There are people like her all over the world …. bright, educated, skilled and eager to become real American citizens. They are being denied their shot at America because they obey our laws.

In the meanwhile, our national immigration policy continues to show a defacto preference for uneducated, cheap, illegal labor that has no intention of ever becoming part of the American economy other than by buying a big American pickup truck and money orders to send home to their relatives. And in the process, this same policy continues to deny deserving Africans, Indians and Asians of the world their chance at the American Dream.


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