President Joe Biden won the nasty battle for the White House in 2020 and has now jumped back into the political war around illegal immigration to the United States.

On his first day in office, he unveiled a plan which would provide pathways to citizenship for those who are undocumented and living in the shadows. It remains to be seen what will happen on this front but once more I am baffled by the lack of attention to those who try to come to this country via the proper and official ways.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with helping those who often come from horrifying violence in South and Central America. The U.S.A. must always be a beacon of hope for those facing such struggles. However, we must also admit they often ignore the legal mechanisms to enter because of costs and hurdles involved.

I am someone facing those today. I was working in Wisconsin after finishing graduate school in 2017 which I had come to from Canada. While in the state I met an American girl, proposed to her in 2019 and thereafter we began going through the K1 visa process designed for those who have a fiancé or fiancée living abroad.

Though I am now in the country and would do all of it again for her the experience has been insane. Days have been stressful; nights have been sleepless and emotional and I cannot understand some of the rules made by federal bureaucrats.

Why was I required to fly all the way to Montreal from the Canadian province of Alberta in order to have a minutes-long interview and hand over some paperwork at a U.S. consulate during a pandemic? Canada is the second largest country on the planet land-wise after Russia. There are U.S. government offices throughout the nation I once called home. You would think other workers would be able to handle simple documents electronically but this convenience has not been implemented.

I see it as nothing short of a miracle I managed to avoid getting sick.

There was also a state-sanctioned medical exam which required me to spend another $1,000 to fly to Canada’s west coast and pay almost $400 for five minutes of questions and a simple urine analysis. As well, my soon-to-be wife and I are now preparing for our imminent new reality where the rules for this visa will block me from working legally for up to a year while she solely earns for us.

This stress comes alongside us having to pay more than $1,000 to “adjust my status” so I am not subject to removal at the end of March. While every nation can and should have rules for who is allowed to enter, what sense does it make to have costs like this, huge travel hurdles for bigger families and very confusing forms?

On the I-485, which is used to register for permanent residence or adjust status, it actually still asks if the person filing was involved in crimes during World War Two or if they are coming to the United States to engage in child pornography.

Who is still alive to answer the first and who would ever say yes to the second?

This is one area where I truly believe liberal and conservative people could come together in the new era we are in which envisions healing of our partisan divide.

We must reform the fiancé and fiancée visa process to be more convenient, allow the individual coming in to seek employment faster and lessen the costs associated with paperwork required before moving on to other reasoned and positive reforms.

Why keep any of this strain which just adds to risk of people splitting up?

2 Comments on “President Biden wants immigration reform, his plans must include cases like mine

  1. As an American who also went through this process, yes its frustrating, yes it’s costly, yes its difficult and time consuming. Some of the requirements and questions are seemingly silly. We were in this process just shy of 3 years and it was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. Do changes need to be made? Probably. Do wait times need to be shortened? Most definitely. We need more embassies and more officers to ease the case load and make a another more timely transition. Is what the Biden administration is doing the answer? In my opinion, no. Both my parents are immigrants. They came to the United States legally and so did my spouse. They went through the same health checks and they paid fees just as everyone else is required to. Why? Look at the pandemic itself. There are health restrictions in order to prevent things like this from happening again. The fees are very expensive, yes but why should that cost be put on the American taxpayer instead? That’s exactly what Biden is doing. All the illegal aliens in the country who are now going to be given an automatic citizenship will now fall to the taxpayers to support. We are already taxed upon taxed upon taxed. Why should we now take on these people who are coming here end be required to support them until or if they ever get a job? If I were moving to France I wouldn’t expect that government to take care of me. Every country has requirements for moving there and it’s is no different. Our welfare system is already overburdened as it is. It was tough for us to get through the 7 months before my spouse was able to work as well, but I am proud to say we did this the right way and neither one of us became a public burden, even through a pandemic. So if your relationship isn’t strong enough to withstand this, maybe the process isn’t for you. We have married couples here that get sent off to foreign countries for the military for a year at a time without the option of seeing each other even briefly in that time frame. If they can survive that then surely the K1 and spousal Visa applicants can weather this

    Like

    • Totally understand your perspective and don’t get me wrong she and I are great, I wrote the piece to illustrate parts of it are a bit bonkers. IE nothing wrong with a process, but the process itself could stand for some reasoned changes.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: