The Fear of the American Embassy is the Beginning of Wisdom

It seems that there is really no end to the quest for the American dream. I drove past the American embassy recently and the people standing in line to attend a visa interview could have easily made the hundreds; all would have paid a non-refundable fee of about $200 for short stay visas to the land that flows with “milk and honey”. People say that for all it stands for, might, smart(s) and all, if one succeeded with the US embassy, how could they not make it on US soil? Over half of those people will be denied visas and tens of the “lucky” ones will be turned back by Homeland Security upon arrival in the US. I have since stopped asking why the numbers swell given the treatment and outcome. I could see that everyone was in line, quite uncharacteristically, standing patiently, waiting to be ushered in. You see, the fear of the Americans is the beginning of wisdom; there are armed Policemen standing around, blocks of concrete cut off the lane on which the Embassy building stands; an imposing and aesthetically unappealing concrete safe haven. I saw a heavily pregnant woman standing in line, supported by a man, who stood by her right, a minor distortion to the straight line of people.

“Is that woman pregnant?” My sister asked loudly, voicing my thought.

“Nobody will give her that visa, she’s made a huge mistake coming here,” my niece quipped from the back seat.

Even my niece knew?

I was reading about a woman who lived in the US from when she was a 9 year old child, and was deported several years later in her adult years, and it occurred to me that perhaps a quick reform of the US immigration system would bring a lot of these games to an end. Millions of people around the world in an attempt to provide the best for their loved ones continue to risk alienation and the unknown to cross borders into what they hope is the answer to their search for a better life. Migration and a perceived better life or better opportunity is almost like a drug; it is addictive and “users” will do anything, anything, to achieve it. Scam schemes abound, from fraudulent so-called immigration lawyers, to domestic human traffickers, there are more and more victims every day. We have heard stories, where the quest for a better life has caused relatives to become stowaways, to sell their own into slavery as batter to migrate, and even after deportation, they scrape up all the money that they have to pay legal fees to appeal a case which their families and their lawyers know they cannot win. You see, not too many people want to live in a country where everyone is a Government unto oneself, where families pay for and provide their own security; no matter how ill-equipped, where people generate their own power and water supply, and rely on a praying and fasting church group every time they have to travel by air or road. Who wants to live in a place where Civil Servants embezzle pension funds of citizens and go scot-free? Nobody wants to live in a society which neither recognises hard work nor rewards it. Nobody wants to live in a society where politicians feed fat on the nation’s treasury and preachers live extravagantly off the generousity of the widow’s steady stream of mite. But I digress.

I imagined the pregnant woman answering the questions posed by a visa officer whose mind has already been made up, as had mine, that she was not going to visit relatives living in the States as she claimed, but was planning to take advantage of the “citizenship by birth” clause for her unborn child. A safety net really, the parents’ gift to their child.

I wished I could stop and take the woman’s number, just to keep in touch and hear her rejection story, to discuss her motives and the waste of money which this venture surely was.

“She should have attended this interview immediately she found out that she was pregnant, before she started showing,” my niece again.

So this is where we are, even from the mouth of babes, everyone knows how to beat the American immigration system for a better life, but most people come out defeated anyway. And they will do it all over again, shaking knees, sweaty palms, quivering lips and all.


  1. anthonybozzolakathabozz

    Very good read. It is a very similar climate here in Britain as well. Scores of immigrants from Asian Countries, Middle Eastern Countries and Europe attempt to get into Britain and ironically enough they are sometimes persecuted as much here as in their homelands.

    I think an interesting point that can also be raised from this is the attitudes of the American and British public in that despite all the so-called ‘progress’ and political correctness its plain to see that a combination of the recession and the current state of our countries with regards to immigration has made it so that both countries are still incredibly racist. I have Italian blood in me and have been referred to as a ‘WOP’ many times and just today in a football match involving Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, two clubs representing areas in North London, Arsenal ‘supporters’ threw bananas at Emmanuel Adebayor, a Togan player. It amazes me that a club representing part of the biggest and most multi-cultural part of this island has such a large number of followers with that attitude.

    Enjoyable read, any chance you could check out my blog and maybe give it a ‘follow’ if you like what you read? Many thanks.

    1. Anne Chia

      Human nature is so incredibly complex that one cannot fully say what the motivating factors are for tribalism, racism or bad behaviour. Obviously external defeating factors such as those you mentioned and the resulting unemployment are huge factors. But with Adebayor’s treatment,I worry that this is really the way we live, thus the need for political correctness in the first place. Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog, loved your posts!

  2. Speak Your Mind

    There’s this crazy hope and belief that leaving is better. Now this hope is brought to the land of the free (American) and these people do unimaginable things just to work towards getting their stay legalized. Now i personally think that it is still this HOPE that makes these countries advance. When a man lives something close to his dreams, his heart is almost at peace. But they again when some come the disappointment they face is so mind-blowing they can’t even cope. I will say Long live immigration, long live America. It gives wings to many dreams.God bless America

    1. Anne Chia

      Definitely. The concept of the American dream is well known. Hope drives people on so many different levels,individually and even as a country. It’s the bit about doing anything to be legalised that I struggle with. Many thanks for visiting. It is much appreciated.

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