My country


I wrote previously about the American visa application process and how my inlaws tried to get an appointment for an interview for 4 months.  Well, after writing to my really excellent congressman McGovern, I was able to secure them an interview which was this morning.

Sadly, their visas got denied today for the age old reason of America doesn't trust brown people to abide by the law and leave when their visa is up.  I live in a country which robs a 72yr old retired policeman and his family of the joy of watching his grand daughter's first year.  They have impeccable records, advanced degrees, speak English, plenty of money in the bank, and they own valuable property. Why?

Needless to say, we're thoroughly demoralized, angry and shocked.  Does anyone know if there is any recourse we can take?



Don't give up

Jim's picture

Have you tried writing to McGovern again? What was his response?

Add new comment | Jacob Singh

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This sucks

Having worked a bit with your dad, he is a stand-up guy who doesn't deserve this. Maybe I have an outsider's view, but it seems we are bending over backwards for illegal immigrants, whereas deserving, successful, law abiding citizens such as your father get the short end of the stick. Very disappointing. Wish I had the legal expertise or connections to help.

Thanks for the sentiment.

Jacob Singh's picture

Thanks for the sentiment.  Indeed, there are a lot of problems with this country's immigration policies.  I've been through the wringer with the USCIS and state department in the last 5 years.  It's 50/40 Incompetence and bad policies with a nice little 10% spike in outright institutionalized racism.

Immigration Attorney

Hey Jacob- sorry to hear about your troubles- INS is a real pain. My big advice here is that you should hire an immigration attorney, who will make the process a TON easier and who will make it much more likely that you'll be able to figure out a way to make it happen. We used one such lawyer to obtain two visas for two of our employees, and each time it cost us about $2k for the entire process. There are many ways to get them over here legally, and a lawyer will help you figure out the best option, but they aren't cheap...

Some ideas from looking at the Visa Types State Dept page:
- Claim that your inlaws (or at least one of them) is an au pair, and try to get a J visa
- Enroll each of them in a class (not sure if they need to be enrolled full time), or schedule a whole bunch of business meetings, and attempt to get a B-1 visa
- Schedule a couple of visits to some sort of medical specialist, and apply for a B-2 (this is the visa you probably attempted to get the first time, for a tourist visa)

Problem with Visitor Visa

Hey Jacob, a mutual friend of ours shared this post with me because he knows I am an immigration attorney. I read this post and the previous post and it looks like your family has suffered a similar fate as many visitor visa applicants--denial for no good reason. The problem with visitor visas is that they are entirely discretionary. The consular official who adjudicates the application can basically do whatever he or she wants and for almost any reason. Visitor visas are especially tough for young single people from countries with a statistically high rate of visa abuse (and some times for elderly people as well.) Our immigration system is, by any measure, a clusterf*** of irrational bureaucracy based on senseless policies. There is also very little that an immigration attorney can do to help obtain approval of a visitors visa since it is 100% in the hands of the consular official and there is no point in the application process that allows for legal advocacy. And pretending to be an Au Pair usually isn't a viable or recommended solution. I don't know if there are other possible visas that your family might qualify for but you are welcome to contact me and we can chat about it.

Thanks for the advice

Jacob Singh's picture

I figured there really isn't anything that can be done, but anyway I appreciate your input.



America the incompetent

If you live inside America all your life it may be possible to not hate it, but catching any glimpse of how the country acts and treats people from the outside makes it much much harder. In Europe one simply looks at America as a different version of a 3rd world country. Pity, incomprehension, sadness, and contempt are all mixed in. The customs officers, flight regulations, and immigration rules all make the first impression, and it's a shit horrible impression at that. The second impression tends to be one of unhealthy food, crumbling infrastructure, bad land management, and excessive consumerism.

Really sorry your in-laws will have to watch their granddaughter grow up from afar. At least they won't be living in a 3rd world country.


Seth's picture

I don't understand all the fuss about "immigration". Let's call it what it is -- moving.


I'm very sorry to here about your difficulties. As someone that was born here, I get very embarrassed about how we treat people that "Don't look or talk quite like us". There are a lot of very bigoted people everywhere. Over here, people use the excuse that we can't let legitimate, hard working people here because too many are here illegitimately? That's just putting the burden on innocent people that have virtually no control.

Bigotry, racism, sexism, elitism et al are the biggest waste of human potential I can think of.

God, Buddha, Mohamed, Jesus. They all talked about loving humanity. How we sometimes treat each other to satisfy personal weaknesses would not look well in the eyes of any of the aforementioned.

Jacob, I wish you all the luck in bringing your parents here and would like to thank you for all the contributions you have shown to the Drupal community.


Thanks for the kind words.

Jacob Singh's picture

Thanks for the kind words.  It means a lot.  Anyway, we'll be taking a trip back in a month to see everyone.  Thankfully we have the resources to fo this kind of thing and I work for a cool company which allows it :)


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