mardi 1 mai 2007

An open letter to Senator Clinton

Dear Senator Clinton,

In light of your recent comments (if elected) about sending your husband, President Clinton, around the world to make amends; what a great idea, you could follow your own suggestion starting with me, a regular French citizen that was forced to live in limbo for many years, "hostage" of the Bush administration US policy and his childish attitude toward the French with the now famous Condi Rice phrase "we should punish the French" know the rest.

By now you must think, what it has to do with you? let me give you the reason of this letter;

Recently I stumble on French TV channel 3 about an American reporter answering a question on why you did not want to meet with Segolene Royal nor Nicholas Sarkozy, the 2 contenders for the French Presidency: his answer was "because being seen with French people is not popular right now and bad for your image!" Some even added that you "detest" the French which I did not believe but in case Mrs Clinton you have the right in your private life to do as you please but Senator Clinton as a public servant you ought to defend and protect the citizens that lives in your district and this includes the 60000 French citizens living in NY, including me, at least when I was living there.

My contact with your office was relating to my pending immigration status approved by the then INS at the time of your husband still being President. After 9/11 all cases where delayed for obvious reasons but mine was particularly long in time compared to similar cases of citizens from other countries, that was the reason I contacted your office with letters and phone calls to expose my case, to try to find a solution or simply help me to withdraw my petition for a green card so I could move freely and legally out of the US. Obviously when I did not hear from you, I contacted several politicians who refer me to you as NY Senator, one of them even was kind enough to refer my letter personally to you.

After 18 months I finally got an answer from one of your staff member, enclosed please find the unbelievable answers (I am sorry as it is not in the same order as I was told) but here it goes: "This country is not for people like you" (skilled and European) "it is for third world countries" (if that would be the case, I wish I was told before investing everything in the US and losing my company due to the immigration laws). "You are being punish for your country not wanting to help us with the Iraq war" (as I see it we do not live in the USW or US of the World, each President of sovereign countries have the right to decide as best as they suit for their countrymen), "You have to wait indefinitely, you cannot live nor stay in the US as President Bush hates the French" (again with the "hate" the French, always this stupid but dangerous word "hate" as there is not enough of it already in the world), to the "keep a low profile, don't talk to anyone because you can be arrested, put to jail and deported", (I though that the First Amendment was "Freedom of Speech and Redress of Grievances).

Of course I did not keep a low profile nor I shut my mouth, I tried to change the law but that's another story.

This letter is not about me but God help the USA if you are the best choice for the Democrats nominees. A President must be a responsible adult who will answer no matter how unpleasant nor political correct. As a Senator you cannot always bring a positive answer to each cases submitted to you but at least you can acknowledge instead of choosing blindly to ignore pleas concerning citizens no matter where they come from. You are not to be blamed for your employee behavior but if you want to run a country at least you should run your office first!

In case you might want to know, I am not being paid by none of your political colleagues, not the Democrats (a party that I sympathize) nor the Republicans.

samedi 10 février 2007

Immigration is a global issue, however the grass is not always greener the other side of the fence.

Regarding Carl Rove comments: from "The Corner" article

Rove on immigration: 'I don't want my son to have to pick tomatoes'

Let's talk about "legal" immigrants, people approved by INS to adjust their status through their work or family.
As Rep. Howard L. Berman (D. North Hollywood) to Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar for The Los Angeles Times in his article Backlog of Immigrant Paperwork Growing, 03/29/2004:
"Even though we say we want immigrants to go through the legal process and not come here illegally, we make the legal process as cumbersome and difficult as we can, that is encouraging the very illegality we are trying to deter."

"The trap! Do the right think and be punish for that"!
With so much talk about immigration, mostly about illegal immigrants, let me tell you about the forgotten ones, the legal immigrants approved by INS but reduced to live in Limbo as long as it might take, sometime 10 to 15 yrs:
Once your case has been approved by INS, you can stay in the US on the condition that you will not work legally nor travel outside The US (a must for some profession). How are you going to support yourself if you are denied the basic human right to earn a living? The law makes it even harder if you are a skilled professional no matter what you will be told. There are good lawyers and unfortunately the one who promises you a speedy solution as long as they can get your $, they end up in the Hamptons with your money and you end up sharing a slice of bread, dreaming of marmalade with no solution in sight.
As years goes by you are told to be patient and suggested to keep a law profile, your time will come, so you hope and hope and wait. Of course, you can always go back to your country of origins but after having invested everything in your country of adoption, making a life, having a family and most of the time deprived of financial means to start over, it is not always easy.
Even if you decide to leave voluntary, you will still find yourself trapped: you are prohibited by law to return to the US for ten years where by now you have personal ties.