Ask an immigrant

February 3, 2017

I posted this as a response to someone and I think it bears repeating and expanding a little.

as an immigrant, someone who has been through the process (including being denied re-admission and spending the night in a detention center in an orange jumpsuit), i’d like to point out a couple of issues that no one seems to be addressing.

1. Permanent Residents (green card holders) who are/were out of the country are being denied re-admission and forced to sign documents to give up their permanent resident status. There are only a few reasons for revoking permanent resident status and outside of a felony conviction, they generally require an order from an immigration judge for which the petitioner should be present.

1b. The Permanent Resident process requires at least two in person interviews, usually takes two or three years to complete and runs somewhere in the vicinity of $5,000-8,000 in fees without the use of a lawyer. This process also requires multiple sets of paperwork to be filed. There are the initial application forms, change of address forms, biographic information forms. Any error, either deliberately or by omission will usually result in your application being denied and the process beginning again. Additionally, permanent residents are fingerprinted and photographed on multiple occasions and required to have a physical at USCIS appointed doctors only.

2. any one that was in transit and arrived in the US when the EO was rolled out and denied admission at that time cannot reenter the country or apply for a new visa without a waiver for 5-10 years, at least.

2b. Refugee visas require more in-person interviews than Permanent Residents, and include interviews with the FBI.

People believe immigration to the US is a simple process. It is not. It is a multi-year, highly intrusive and in some cases, expensive process during which every facet of your life is under a microscope. Saying we haven’t been vetted is insulting both to immigrants and the people that do the work. #askanimmigrant