The Corner

Re: Uniform amnesty

David, I’m with you on this case. America should not be in the business of deporting servicemen’s spouses. In civilized societies, granting legal residency to a husband or wife is a non-discretionary form of immigration, and it says a lot for the torpid bureaucracy at whatever the INS is called this week that it cannot even operate that procedure efficiently.


That report you quote is very telling:

In September 2000, Mildred’s mother applied for legalization and included her daughter in that application. Her mother was granted legal status in July 2004, according to Gonzalez. However, six weeks earlier, Gonzalez and Mildred got married, canceling Mildred’s ability to apply for legal status through her mother because she was no longer an unmarried daughter under the age of 21. As a result, her legal status still remains in jeopardy.

When you unpack the bureaucratese and mumbo-jumbo, what does that mean? It means that this woman filed a routine application and the U.S. immigration bureaucracy took four years to get back to her, by which point her “status” (as they say) had changed.


Well, yes, one’s “status” does tend to change. It’s called “life”. You apply as “an unmarried daughter under the age of 21” and by the time U.S. immigration gets around to opening your file you’re a married woman of 28, or a sadder but wiser divorcee of 42, or an elderly widow of 79. What are you meant to do? Tread water and put the key human relationships of life on hold for the half-decade or full decade it takes the time-servers and pen-pushers to blow the dust off your file?


I go a long way with Mark Krikorian on illegal immigration, but this is where I get off the bus. This woman is not an “illegal immigrant” but someone who’s been screwed over by the legal immigration bureaucracy. The President likes to say, “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.” No, they stop at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and it’s a disgrace.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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