… from personal experience, regardless of how welcoming and friendly the American people were, and are, the immigration system is severely broken in the USAmuses Mark I Sutherland in the Daily Telegraph.
Our first experience of it was on my first visit. The abusive nature of the customs official was eye-opening and intimidating. Luckily, that attitude of "if I don't like you, you're back on the plane" was limited to the official. The people in the Midwest could not have been nicer.Update: Being American
My next experience with the immigration system was after we had waited in line for a number of years, and our green card applications were approved. This time it was an official at the US Embassy in London. I think if he had his way, we'd have been hauled off in irons for some fun waterboarding in the basement. Fortunately
… as a legal immigrant, I watched the ongoing debate, and sometimes pure vitriol, surrounding immigration. There is the positioning by both sides, the special interest groups that take an all-or-nothing approach. And there are the children who never knew they weren't born here and the families who risked their lives to enter the land of opportunity, albeit illegally. And finally, those who refused to break the law and sought to enter legally, waiting in line, for years, and years, and years.
These are the forgotten. No one talks about these people, who like me, are not interested in breaking the law, regardless of how attractive America looks. These hard working men and women, who wait for the frustratingly slow process that seems to discriminate against those who want to do it by the book. These are the type of people who come here and started my favourite Scottish restaurant – and employ Americans. These are the people who emigrated from southern England and started a tea room where I can get Duke and Duchess tea, with a side of Branston Pickle and cheese – and employ Americans. These are the people who emigrated from China, started the best Chinese restaurant I have ever experienced – and employ Americans.
These are the people who after creating jobs for Americans, embrace the culture while also bringing the celebrations of their home country with them, adding to the vibrancy and diversity that is the American melting pot.
… I have a glimmer of hope. Because I know how welcoming American is. I know how special America is. And my hope is that the locked door, where the No Vacancy sign hangs, will be unlocked and thrown open, and we again hear the refrain of Lady Liberty welcoming those yearning to be free.