Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in the USSR in an American Embassy?

My brother and his wife are currently stuck in Turkey.  They traveled there on a visit to visit his wife's mom (in Ukraine) and do a little sight-seeing.  When they went to board the plane to come home, they were told they could not leave because my sis-in-law is in the process of becoming a US citizen.  They had all the "right" paperwork.  They've been married since 2008, and my S-i-L has lived in the US since at least 2007.  Neither have criminal records.  No matter, too bad, S-i-L cannot leave Turkey.  So, the next day, she and my brother went to the US Embassy where they made my brother stand outside ACROSS THE STREET from the Embassy while they questioned his wife, finger-printed her and kept her paperwork.  As far as I know, they are still there, waiting for permission for her to board a plane and come home.

These are people who work 60 hour weeks at a local historic hotel.  They live quietly in a tiny town with their dogs, cats and chickens (lucky them, their little town allows chickens!).  They have invested thousands of dollars working with an immigration attorney for my S-i-L to legally become a US citizen.  They were married at a small ceremony in the US before traveling to Ukraine for a church wedding.  They happened to meet in Las Vegas (at a conference with an organization  that assists young adults fro the former Soviet block countries - Ukraine, Romania, etc. - come to the US and work for the summer on an exchange-type program for which they both worked) and fell in love - engaged within a few months of meeting and married a few months later.  My S-i-L is an awesome addition to my family.  I absolutely adore her and love the fact that she keeps my brother on his toes.  He loves her and is happier with her than with anyone else he ever dated. She is one of the hardest working women I've ever met, one of the smartest and most fun I know.  And she's not being allowed to leave the country of her birth, where her mother lives on less than $200/month (much of that sent to her by my brother and his wife), and where her brother was a policeman until he tired of being unable to survive on the meager salary provided without taking bribes. And now where the country she loves and is trying to LEGALLY become a citizen, has finger-printed her and questioned her without her husband or an attorney present, just so she can come home to her little house, her dogs, her cats and her chickens.

Meanwhile, here in the US, our President has released hardened criminal illegal aliens from prison, shut down parts of the GI Bill, and is offering illegal immigrants in-state tuition (and probably every grant available).  The TSA harasses old ladies, little kids and Vets as they try to board a plane - like any of those people would be doing ANYTHING to harm themselves, their families and the other people on a plane.  We refuse to "profile" and instead force people to "friendly TSA pat-downs" and through x-ray machines.

There is something desperately wrong with the fact that law-abiding citizens are not allowed to board a plane and come home from Turkey and yet anyone who suggests that closing our borders and enforcing current immigration laws are called "heartless racists."

Update: They were finally allowed to leave 2 days afterward after paying around $1000 extra for the changes to their flight and fines; and only found a flight that would take them to a major city seven hours from their home. (Updated 3/25/2013 9:08am)

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