I recently was at an INS office for an interview to approve permanent residence status for the Mrs. I dig that officers there have a tough job trying to ferret out people who are trying to scam a green card but if I might make a few suggestions:
- If you can’t conceal your contempt for immigrants, this probably isn’t the line of work for you
- If you’re an employee of the federal government it’s probably not a good idea to trash talk the president of the U.S. while conducting your official duties
- It’s not really appropriate to try to elicit the political affiliations of people who are applying for permanent residence so long as they aren’t extremists. Therefore, immigration officers shouldn’t attempt to guess who applicants are going to vote for in upcoming elections.
I kid you not, all of this happened. Now, the immigration official wields (or appears to wield) a great deal of power. They can either approve, deny or delay a persons application for permanent residence and as far as I can tell can do so with very little justification. So, what do you do when an immigration official goes on about how President Obama is gutting immigration laws so his aunt can stay in the country?
If you want the immigration stamp on your wife’s paperwork you shut up and nod.
So…let me set the scene of the final few minutes of the interview…
Mrs. TwS: Oh great! I can’t wait to be a citizen! I can vote in the next election!
Immigration guy: Let me guess. Democrat?
Mrs. TwS: Uh…yeah
Immigration guy: Figures. All you people from Socialist countries are running away from your countries and coming here as we’re becoming Socialist.
Mrs. TwS: Actually, Sweden isn’t socialist. The government is run by the center-right Christian Democrats.
Immigration guy: Huh, maybe I should move there.
Now, there was no playful banter here from the immigration guy. It was the sort of conversation you might hear on talk radio. Accusatory and uniformed. I can only imagine how people unfamiliar with the federal government (and maybe with less then a perfect understanding of English) would react to this nonsense.