My friend bekitty recently went to join her partner in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is working until September. She didn’t make it. She tells her story in full, and it’s worth a read to see what happens when the eye of immigration falls upon you.
In particular, I draw your attention to her framing of the experience, as a reminder of how privileged she is. Here’s a hint:
In Tank 6 with me were 16 other women… I was the only woman who didn’t speak Spanish.
Just another in a long line of bad experiences with immigration controls. Although I can understand the need for limits, the ruthlessness with which borders are patrolled troubles me. The things that concern me in particular, in this story and others I’ve heard, are the huge scope for discretion by immigration staff, the lack of recourse for people who find themselves on the wrong track, and the high-stakes decisions being made under pressure without access to advice or support.
Although this story has the distinctive fingerprints of the U.S.A. all over it, I doubt somehow that this story would be massively different in any other country. I’ve heard bad stories about every first world nation. It would be nice to achieve a culture shift. Can’t see it happening any time soon though.
(Movie poster above is The Visitor, which covers some of this same ground. Nice film.)