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You may say that I'm a Dreamer
June 29, 2013 2:41 PM   Subscribe

"The success of the campaign made the three activists wonder: Could they replicate it on a grand scale by getting themselves detained on purpose? Inside immigration detention facilities, they would surely find dozens, if not hundreds, of low-priority detainees like de los Santos whom they could help. At the same time, they could publicize the fact that it wasn’t just criminals who were being deported, as the Obama administration kept insisting. “We realized we could be more effective if we just went straight to the source,” Abdollahi says. Doing so would flip the script on immigration agents; the activists would be taking advantage of their undocumented status and thus could be detained and deported. Deportation was unlikely, because they were Dreamers without serious criminal records. Even so, this would make the risk they’d taken in Charlotte look like nothing. But Saavedra, Abdollahi, and Martinez had been growing more fearless, and more radical, since they’d met." -- Los Infiltradores: How three young undocumented activists risked everything to expose the injustices of immigrant detention—and invented a new form of protest.
posted by MartinWisse (56 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice find... MartinWisse, thanks for posting it.
posted by HuronBob at 2:50 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Al Jazeera English devoted one of their Activate shows to this today. Here's an earlier editorial by Viridiana Martinez.
posted by seemoreglass at 3:04 PM on June 29, 2013


At the same time, they could publicize the fact that it wasn't just criminals who were being deported, as the Obama administration kept insisting.

The administration hasn't been claiming this to my knowledge. The administration said they would prioritize criminals, that doesn't mean only criminals get deported. Obama himself said that deportation of criminals is up, while deportation of other illegal immigrants is down. Down, not ended.
posted by spaltavian at 3:04 PM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


This was also the subject of last week's This American Life; it's most of the first act here.
posted by daisystomper at 3:19 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


This as you might imagine is a huge issue where I live. Thanks for posting this!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:51 PM on June 29, 2013


This article is extremely disorganized. It can't seem to decide if it's a politics piece or a human interest story. At several points, it thinks it has explained a complex point, even though it has completely failed.

Perhaps someone could tl;dr and tell me what these people were doing? And what results they got, if any?
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:23 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


You wouldn't want to do this in Australia, you'd never see your family again.
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 4:37 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tell ya what, charlie don't surf, this article was tl;hds (too long; had to skim), and maybe not as compelling as it should have been. I had to read it, because I'd originally heard it on This American Life, and there was more to learn in the written version.

Basically, it's about a few dedicated ("illegal") youngsters who risked jail (and had to beg to be arrested) to make a point, but they did it to change the system, and they ended up making a significant difference in many lives. They took phone numbers and case histories from the folks ICE had in prison in Broward (Ft Lauderdale) and ended up getting hundred of phone numbers a day and had to farm out the cases to immigration lawyers around the country: essentially, a movement sparked by a few audacious young activists and aided by sympathizers around the USA. The subtext has to do with the fact that being an activist can end up making a difference - in this case it was "being an activist" in a non-traditional way (i.e. not just being arrested for refusing to obey authority's command to move).
posted by kozad at 4:39 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Crane says the Morton memos have put dangerous criminals back on the street, like illegal immigrants who drive without licenses. Now, he says, “We have to wait until they kill you.”
Grar. Or you could, imagine this, let people get driver's licenses.

For the record, this article seems straightforward enough to me, who does not listen to TAL any more.
posted by hoyland at 5:23 PM on June 29, 2013


Wow, these three people are heroes. Honest-to-goodness heroes.

"Grar. Or you could, imagine this, let people get driver's licenses."

Yeah, Crane made my blood boil. So, the president of the union of workers whose specific jobs are deporting people is deeply concerned about how public safety will be affected when less people are deported. Uh-huh. But also, I'm inclined to believe that this kind of hateful nonsense is what many of these ICE workers actually believe.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:57 PM on June 29, 2013


Completely uninformed opinion: This post gave me an excuse to listen to, contemplate, and enjoy John Lennon's "Imagine."

"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one."
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:57 PM on June 29, 2013


These kids are all right.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:19 PM on June 29, 2013


It's refreshing to see people like this and Sen. Wendy Davis in Texas acting to correct an injustice that they see. This is how you change a system you don't like.
posted by dry white toast at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2013


Eh. I found these kids completely unsympathetic. Oh, you can't go to a very good college because you're an illegal and you suddenly realized that was "unjust"? Your parents got interviewed and it was embarrassing because they were illegal and Middle Eastern immigrants are embarrassed by that? My heart breaks. There are lots of legal immigrants, who do things the right way, and they get to go to college. If your parents are embarrassed by being illegal immigrants, maybe they could try doing things the right way. The system is not prejudiced against immigrants. It is prejudiced against people who break the law.

These people make things harder for legal immigrants.

This stuff will probably get passed, because Republicans are trying to "make themselves more sympathetic", but it is the wrong answer. Deport them all. Then they can get back in the same way everyone else did - through filling out their paperwork and doing it the right way.
posted by corb at 10:59 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"you're an illegal" - perfect way to describe three year old children (or those who immigrated at no fault of their own at that age). What a completely disgusting viewpoint.

Signed,

daughter of an "illegal"
posted by primalux at 11:05 PM on June 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


Oh and just so we're clear, my mother is and was a natural born citizen, so no need to report me for being one of those "illegals"!
posted by primalux at 11:06 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also I suppose you missed the part where Mohammad "has more to risk from deportation than most. He’s gay, and Iran has been known to throw gays in jail—it even has the death penalty for “repeated acts” of homosexuality."
posted by primalux at 11:22 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


These people make things harder for legal immigrants.

Have you actually ever tried to legally immigrate to the United States? Like truly ever tried even as a thought exercise?

Because these illegals haven't made it one bit harder on my personal immigration. There's no huge overarching queue that they've jumped. The United States makes things hard enough for legal immigrants all on its own. How dare you use faux-concern for me and my situation as justification for your own shitty scapegoating.
posted by Talez at 11:33 PM on June 29, 2013 [19 favorites]


The system is not prejudiced against immigrants...they can get back in the same way everyone else did - through filling out their paperwork and doing it the right way.

There is no right way. As libertarian magazine Reason (!) puts it, "the wait time approaches infinity" for a green card.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 11:37 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


1) People aren't 'illegal'--they may have illegally immigrated but that doesn't mean you can remove their humanity by reducing them to a legal status.

2) Anyone who believes in the 'deport them all' method of immigration reform should absolutely do some reading on this topic. Areas I would suggest reading up on include: a) the global demographic crisis and how immigration both legal and not has kept the US on the right side of the replacement rate; b) the near-complete inability of employers with shitty jobs like crop picking and butchering to entice citizens into working for them due to low rates of pay and high rates of injury; c) just what happens to an economy when 'illegal immigration' is stopped--you might look at Georgia; d) the benefits of using immigration law against employers rather than employees, and so on and so forth).

3) You might then have a look at this excellent chart depicting legal immigration methods and their timespans. You'll note that the absolute best case scenario is six to seven years wait to become a citizen, assuming that the person in question is related to someone who is already a citizen. That's not counting the thousands of dollars in lawyer fees and government forms required to get to that point. It's easy to comprehend why someone might look at that chart in despair and say, 'My children are starving now. I'll fix it when I get there.'

4) I will never understand someone whose policy goal can be reduced to 'I don't want this person to get a college education at my expense.' Educating people is a public good, whatever their original family origins might be.

I've known multiple people whose legal status was either very much 'illegal' or very much 'don't ask, don't tell.' I won't judge you for not having the good fortune to have met such people along your journey. I would politely suggest, however, that you read some policy papers from the view of 'the other side' to see why your comment seems very simplistic to those of us with different political viewpoints.
posted by librarylis at 11:44 PM on June 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Almost all of the time, I think Mike Bloomberg is a douchebag, but he got his one right:

"It's as if we expect border control agents to do what a century of communism could not: defeat the natural market forces of supply and demand... and defeat the natural human desire for freedom and opportunity. You might as well as sit in your beach chair and tell the tide not to come in."
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:59 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Referring to human beings as "illegals" is a bigoted phrase that, imo and I will flag it next time I see it, does not belong on metafilter.
posted by eviemath at 12:06 AM on June 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Referring to human beings as "illegals" is a bigoted phrase that, imo and I will flag it next time I see it, does not belong on metafilter.

I completely agree and just want to make it clear that I was only using it in a facetious manner, which should probably still not be ok. I do not agree with calling any person "illegal", no matter what age they were when they immigrated.
posted by primalux at 12:12 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I completely agree and just want to make it clear that I was only using it in a facetious manner, which should probably still not be ok. I do not agree with calling any person "illegal", no matter what age they were when they immigrated.

If you're doing it in scare quotes to respond to somebody else's bigoted statement, I can't imagine why it wouldn't be completely OK. That was a pivoting retort, and a completely justifiable one.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:16 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know, pimalux, and apologies if it came across like I was referring to you! I was trying to strike a balance between unequivocally describing the language as unacceptable, but not being so confrontational with corb that my comment would be immediately ignored.
posted by eviemath at 12:45 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


But back on topic, I found the article quite straightforward and easy to read; and so impressive and inspiring. Thanks for posting this, MartinWisse.
posted by eviemath at 12:52 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The system is not prejudiced against immigrants. It is prejudiced against people who break the law.

No, It's prejudiced against people who "break the law" and happen to have brown skin. I've met my fair share of undocumented immigrants from european countries and they don't live lives of constant fear, harassment and dismissal.

The whole "everyone should just play by the rules" argument is a crock of shit because the systems that are supposed to uphold the rules don't even play by the rules. The entire game is unjust and bigoted and corrupt to the core. But somehow it always seems to be the responsibility of the people at the very bottom of the pile to "play by the rules".
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:37 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Have you actually ever tried to legally immigrate to the United States? Like truly ever tried even as a thought exercise?

Tried? No. But most of my family /did/. Does that count? And yes, it was expensive and hard and shitty. But everyone waited their turn and did things right. Even if it meant waiting in an intermediary country until you could get in. And that is absolutely from a country where people were getting killed back home and the people who didn't want to get out of the country died. So yes, I do not have sympathy.

You might then have a look at this excellent chart depicting legal immigration methods and their timespans


This "excellent chart" is hardly that. It claims that if you're not a relative of someone already in the US and are not a "skilled worker", that there is "virtually no process." That is patently bullshit. It also conflates the time it takes to obtain a green card with the time it takes to become a citizen, which is a really bad measure.
posted by corb at 6:09 AM on June 30, 2013


That the system itself doesn't play by the rules actually figures largely in the FPP article, in fact.
posted by eviemath at 6:10 AM on June 30, 2013


Tried? No. But most of my family /did/. Does that count? And yes, it was expensive and hard and shitty. But everyone waited their turn and did things right. Even if it meant waiting in an intermediary country until you could get in. And that is absolutely from a country where people were getting killed back home and the people who didn't want to get out of the country died. So yes, I do not have sympathy.

I'm sorry but this really comes off as "Screw you, Jack, I got mine."

I hope you didn't mean it like that.
posted by Kitteh at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2013


This "excellent chart" is hardly that. It claims that if you're not a relative of someone already in the US and are not a "skilled worker", that there is "virtually no process." That is patently bullshit. It also conflates the time it takes to obtain a green card with the time it takes to become a citizen, which is a really bad measure.

I don't think that the US accepts asylum seekers and refugees (though hardly in huge numbers) counts as evidence that 'legal' immigration is easy. In fact, I think there's a strong case to be made that refugees are basically orthogonal to the discussion at hand.

Also, that chart is not conflating time-to-green-card with time-to-citizenship, if one actually reads the chart. We can debate whether it was appropriate for the 'end point' of the immigration process to be naturalisation. However, the chart does give time-to-green-card quite clearly. It's probably not surprise based on things I've said that I feel pretty strongly there shouldn't be an expectation of naturalisation to be a 'good' immigrant. But, honestly, I kind of assume (and maybe I'm not being charitable) that most people who moan about immigration would expect naturalisation.
posted by hoyland at 6:50 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some years ago, I married my white European girlfriend, who I was living with. It took almost two years for her to get a green card.

If it was that much of a pain in the ass for her, with every possible advantage, I can't imaging what you'd go through if you're non-white, non-european and aren't marrying a US citizen.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 8:24 AM on June 30, 2013


I don't think that the US accepts asylum seekers and refugees (though hardly in huge numbers) counts as evidence that 'legal' immigration is easy. In fact, I think there's a strong case to be made that refugees are basically orthogonal to the discussion at hand.

No one has said that legal immigration is easy. The point I was making is that the chart is pretty much a propaganda piece that distorts the actual process - if not, it would include the refugee/asylum process as well. (Which is not as small as you might think: see, for example, Cuba)

I think the refugee/asylum process is incredibly relevant to the point in hand, particularly when the case being made is that returning to Iran is potentially deadly.

Because if your home country isn't deadly, than what is really the danger of deportation? You lose chances you shouldn't have had in the first place? You're economically fined for breaking the law? People make a big deal of the breakup of families, forgetting that there's nothing preventing US family members from following their family member back to the home country. If there's no death waiting, then it's not the end of the world. Return to start and try again. People loving having immigrants from the US.
posted by corb at 8:30 AM on June 30, 2013


Love it or leave it logic applied to both family and country...at opposite poles. Charming.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:00 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The point I was making is that the chart is pretty much a propaganda piece that distorts the actual process - if not, it would include the refugee/asylum process as well.

This is not a serious response. You start your argument by saying that people need to do things through legal channels. When you are told that there are virtually no legal channels, you point out that refugee and asylum-seeking need to be included as...what exactly? Are these methods of legal immigration? You then cite Cuba, of all places, as an example of "legal" methods?

I can assure you that every single recent immigrant/immigrant-to-be would love to have the "wet foot,dry foot" policy as their legal option. It isn't...and won't ever be because those aren't immigration policies as much as they are policies intending to alter the domestic state-of-affairs in the duly designated nations.

I don't even know how most immigrants would use "Corb's Handy Asylum Method" as a path to citizenship? How should citizens of other countries get the proper status? Should the campesinos work toward importing the Janjaweed into Mexico first, or do you think they just pick a dubiously defined "subgroup" to ethnically cleanse on their own?
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 9:16 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


corb: "The point I was making is that the chart is pretty much a propaganda piece that distorts the actual process - if not, it would include the refugee/asylum process as well. (Which is not as small as you might think: see, for example, Cuba)"

Refugee/asylum status is not an option available to a vast majority of those who wish to immigrate to the United States. The statutory ceiling for asylum seekers is 80,000, and we're only actually accepting about 40,000 per year, compared to the ~1 million who immigrate here legally and the several hundred thousand who come illegally. To call something propaganda because it fails to take into account something that is not an option to the vast majority of immigrants is a sign that you're more interested in working the refs than having an actual discussion over the substance of the argument.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:23 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The fees and difficulty of filing for visas & work permits in the US is where a lot of this bottle neck to being legal* is happening, yet the solution never seems to be "lets fix that". Why is that?

Take the immigrant workers on crops, if every farm could file the I-129 to get their crop workers their temporary H-2A in time for a season of crops, I'm sure they would. The wording or the requirement confuses people though, how does one sufficiently demonstrate that there aren't enough U.S. workers willing? Will a newspaper clipping do? The farms probably aren't filing these, because they take longer than the season is, they have to do it for each individual worker and they all cost a chunk of money to file. Oh, and you need a lawyer to even understand the documents required.

So the american farmer doesn't bother, the illegal worker needed does it illegally, and soon an entire state complains about medical and school being handed out "for free" to people who aren't paying taxes.

That's where the shoe hurts, the taxes. Perhaps don't make it so difficult to be legal in the first place? Just an idea.

* Legal doesn't mean American ciz here, but having a work permit.
posted by dabitch at 9:26 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Speaking of work permits, you know the temporary ones. The kind that my father worked in the US on, before the HQ in Stockholm forgot to re-apply for a few more years and we had to sell everything and yank me back to my country of origin that I had never lived in... Why are they so hard to get? Or not hard, why are they so... Well it seems like it's magically easy for some and a pain in the arse for others depending on who reads your forms.

A friend of mine went to several interviews at a place in Chicago. He got the job! He's from Oslo. The company filed for his work permit and they waited. He "missed" the April window, the full quota was granted before his numer was up. The job place still wanted him and they said they'd refile in October. They did. He waited. In October, he didn't get a work permit because again, the quota was done. The office hired someone else.
This is not the first time that same office of a worldwide company has had this sort of trouble, they hired a planner once who was driving into the country from Canada, bringing his family and a u-haul. He literally had to turn back at the border and wait for the next filing window, because of some sort of mistake made that immigration at the border decided he had to re-do. He had Canadian kids yanked out of school and a really pissed off wife in tow.

She was probably as pissed off as my mother was, and my brother who was the quarterback in the football team, when we had to pack up and leave because someone in Stockholm filed a form too late. I had to go to a new school in a language I didn't speak.
posted by dabitch at 9:38 AM on June 30, 2013


Here's a graphic from the Wall Street Journal illustrating wait times for people from various countries to get various types of visas. A professional from India with an advanced degree will wait for 8.7 years for a visa. The unmarried Mexican adult son or daughter of an American citizen will wait 19.8 years for a visa. The wait time increases to 20.1 years if the son or daughter is married. The Filipino spouse of a lawful permanent resident will wait for 10.6 years for a visa.

And those wait times are for either people with legal US employment or with citizen or green card-holding family members who can sponsor them. According to NPR's Planet Money, the waiting list for a Mexican national who is an unskilled worker with no family in the United States is, effectively, 130 years long.

And for a person who was brought to the United States as a child, who has lived here her entire life, to be deported back to her "home country" often means going to live in a place she has no memory of, where she does not speak the language, and where she has few or no family or friends to help. And if you're deported from immigration detention, you're dropped off with no money or personal belongings, with no opportunity to pack or even to get enough paperwork in order to be able to get a driver's license or a national ID card. In all except paperwork, it's the equivalent of deporting them to countries they've never been to.
posted by decathecting at 10:00 AM on June 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not that anyone cares, but I later went to a US college and had to pay the I-am-not-a-US-cit higher fee. Time of my life, it was, even if I'm still paying off that loan.
posted by dabitch at 10:00 AM on June 30, 2013


decathecting, you mean green card, not VISA. If people are working here, they have some sort of visa already to do so.
posted by dabitch at 10:03 AM on June 30, 2013


Sorry, yes, you're absolutely right, dabitch. In all except the last category, the unskilled workers with no US family, the people waiting are likely already legally living here on visas.
posted by decathecting at 10:06 AM on June 30, 2013


But also, I'm inclined to believe that this kind of hateful nonsense is what many of these ICE workers actually believe.

Based on what? What they do for their job? That's really unfair. I mean, yes, I suppose they could take a stand against policies they don't agree with and quit, but I imagine like most people they probably don't have that luxury.
posted by aclevername at 10:25 AM on June 30, 2013


dabitch, I'm curious... Did your adventures with the U.S. system sour you and/or your family on the idea of ever returning to the U.S. even if the process was made easier?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:29 AM on June 30, 2013


The process wasn't made easier, just more difficult. If It was made easier, I would be very happy. My father retured to work in the states on several occasions and for many years, but the entire family didn't go with him again because of the previous sudden uprooting damaging to us children. I was thrown into a new education system in country I had not lived in, and with a language I didn't speak. It's fair to say that I was traumatized.

I've spent more of my life returning to states, for schools and whatnot, on legal status, and cursing every single interaction I've had with the INS. My status has always been legal. I've worked for minimum wage on my student visa (as allowed). My beef is with the visa-application system being very difficult and seemingly arbitrary, while there a plenty of people (and many that I am good friends with) who have all said "fuck it, I'll just pay someone to marry me" or "screw it, I'll just overstay my tourist visa and buy myself a fake ID". When it's easier to do it the illegal way than the legal, you have a problem right there and it should be addressed.

Last time I entered the country I was detained for eight hours in INS (after a 19 hour flight). I'm as white as they come and have had nearly every VISA of the alphabet in my passport history. I have always been described as "american" by my countrymen, and by many americans, as my formative years here made a deep impression on me, apparently.
posted by dabitch at 10:49 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, and to expand on the families reaction tonycpsu, my brother has a green card via a ten year marriage to a US citizen that also produced a child, so yeah it didn't sour him even if he had to leave his captain of the football team über-popular status back in high-school. My mother still only has a tourist-visa to visit her grandchild.
posted by dabitch at 11:31 AM on June 30, 2013


I used to be undocumented. The bravery of these youngsters is nearly impossible for me to comprehend.

I will be applying for citizenship next month.
posted by cobain_angel at 6:33 PM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's a big leap, how does one jump from undocumented to applying for citizenship?

One of my friends, who has had a green card since her workpermit/visa tracked into one in the 80s and she also has an adult american born son, is considering to apply for citizenship as well. When I was surprised that she hadn't, she told me all the strange German laws for owning property (she owns her senile mothers home on paper to keep the affairs in order) as that had been the only thing preventing from applying.

Anyway, so her route was the common workvisa-greencard/permanentresidency-citizenship route.
I didn't know one could go undocumented -> citizenship route, or rather I'm unsure how that one works and what is required. The Dreamer activists in the articles are undocumented, can't they apply too? But there's plenty of variations, I'm sure. Just you need a lawyer to interpret most of those forms at the .gov sites.

Good luck to you on the citizenship test :) Take a picture with the flag when you pass, everyone does, you simply have to! Your grandkids will get cranky if you don't!
posted by dabitch at 1:57 PM on July 1, 2013


I didn't know one could go undocumented -> citizenship route, or rather I'm unsure how that one works and what is required.

I understood cobain_angel to mean they had become documented at some point in the past and were now acquiring citizenship. There are, I think, a number of ways this could have happened. Remember, also, that there was an 'amnesty' in 1986, which took care of somewhere around 3 million people.
posted by hoyland at 2:08 PM on July 1, 2013


Apart from the amnesty in 1986, what are the number of ways this could have happened?

In the article, Abdollahi's Iranian parents got documented via his US born sister, but it seems like he's still not documented?

Sorry for asking, cobain_angel, I don't mean to pry. Just wondering about possibilities, since so many say it's so hard, one wonders how its done.
posted by dabitch at 2:32 PM on July 1, 2013


Apart from the amnesty in 1986, what are the number of ways this could have happened?

I believe you can leave, wait ten years and avail yourself of whatever immigration avenues are open to you. This is an option if, for example, you're married to a US citizen. (In theory, it's become easier in this situation to get a waiver that allows you to a) apply for a visa in the US and b) not get banned for 10 years, assuming you have US citizen children, though the one news story I could find about this involved someone whose children had special needs, so it's not clear to me what your odds of success would be otherwise.) If the US didn't know you were in the country, I guess you could avoid the 10 years.

In the article, Abdollahi's Iranian parents got documented via his US born sister, but it seems like he's still not documented?

Parents of US citizens (who are 21) don't have to wait for visas, but siblings do. Same for children over 21. (The wait times are absurd, though depend on the country. Apparently, the worst is the Philippines, where people who applied in 1989 are now getting visas.) I think the current proposed immigration bill would eliminate visas for siblings and married children over 21. He'd also have to find a country to wait in, or at least be in to collect the visa, basically. (You can wait in the US if you have some other valid visa, but if he had some other visa, that would solve half his problem.)

In a just world, he'd have a slam dunk asylum claim (or, in a just world, he'd not have an asylum claim in the first place), but you have to do it within one year of arriving in the US and it seems there's not precedent for an exception of not knowing you were gay (that's what I gather from reading between the lines a little here).
posted by hoyland at 4:14 PM on July 1, 2013


I thought the ten year wait is if you've been deported due to overstaying a visa/entering illegally. Not if you've plain left on your own. Have I misunderstood that?

For example, we weren't deported when I was a kid. The family sold the house, cars and left and I've been flying crossatlantic flights ever since. My father had no problem getting work permits again, and neither did my brother, I had no problem getting my student visa etc and so on.

Obviously Abdollahi didn't really know he was gay until he was somewhat sexually mature, but disregarding that (as an asylum seeking point), if he were "just a kid" that grew up in the US due to parents who stayed without a visa, what avenues do they have, in general? None at all?

I know at least two people who came over from the Philippines on nurse-work-visas and stayed in the states (I am not sure on what type of extension but they legalized somehow). Which visas are people waiting for since 1989? That's outrageous!

Why aren't wait times being tackled to try and untangle this mess? Like my mate from Oslo who secured a job here first, and couldn't come over because of the APril and October window closing on him. Meanwhile the "Genius" visa attracts entrepreneurs and Playmates. See what I mean about arbitrary?
posted by dabitch at 6:01 PM on July 1, 2013


I thought the ten year wait is if you've been deported due to overstaying a visa/entering illegally. Not if you've plain left on your own. Have I misunderstood that?

I think you get hit with it if you overstay a visa, regardless of how you leave.

if he were "just a kid" that grew up in the US due to parents who stayed without a visa, what avenues do they have, in general? None at all?

Yeah, nothing. That's basically what is at issue with the so-called 'DREAMers'. (There's a piece of legislation called the DREAM Act that would give people who graduate from US high schools some sort of option.)

Which visas are people waiting for since 1989?

Siblings of citizens/permanent residents waiting for green cards. See here.
posted by hoyland at 6:35 PM on July 1, 2013


Thanks hoyland.
posted by dabitch at 8:25 AM on July 2, 2013


I obtained my green card by marriage, because I was fortunate enough to fall in love with someone who was born in the lucky side of the border. :) I overstayed a tourist visa, but kept the I-94. Apparently that was a huge mitigating factor when they were deciding whether or not to hit me with the 10 year ban.
posted by cobain_angel at 8:01 PM on July 6, 2013




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