Monday, June 14, 2010

Undocumented Aliens Like Me

I have been feeling exceptionally unaccomplished this week. I usually feel unaccomplished but this week has been worse. The only reason I really have to get up in the morning is to make sure my son does not get bored and destroy something and I guess I should feed him and all. The problem is that I really can do nothing. I cannot get a job. I cannot go to school. I can not pursue my dreams. Now with my husband having no job I can no longer pursue my hobby of martial arts. The only thing that makes me feel accomplished is working out. I run and try to beat the number of push ups I can do. I am up to seven regular push ups now, I can do 25 wuss ups. I can only work out in the evening because we cannot use the AC, not enough money.

This blog is not really about how depressed I am feeling lately and how I have drank three nights this past week, when usually when I drink two nights in a week I feel absolutely alcoholic. What this is really about is undocumented immigrants in the united states. I happen to be one, and every time I mention it I am worried I will piss someone off later and have them use it to hurt me or it gets read by a minute man. It is not something I really hide but it is not something I usually broadcast. When asked by strangers I usually just say I do not have a work permit or a green card yet. Usually it is not a problem because I am white and married to an American citizen. People just assume that if I am not a citizen that I am at least a permanent resident. After all you automatically become a citizen if you marry a citizen or it is free.

I started to think about this about a week two ago (time has lost all meaning to me). I went to a gathering of the yearly meeting that my monthly meeting belongs to (that is Quakerese for I went to the weekend conference of the governing body that my church belongs to and they discussed church business and had workshops and classes). I had a great time. I got to go with out paying and met lots of great people and learned new things. My pastor taught a workshop on a hot button issue in Quaker past and that issue was slavery. Everyone remembers quakers as great crusaders against the institution even risking their lives and property participating in the underground railroad. That is true, but just part of the truth. Meetings at large were very slow to accept the social activism of freedom and many activists were ejected from their meetings for their beliefs. Now all Quakers see them as great heroes. We have many hot button issues today and this workshop was followed by a discussion on one of those. It was on undocumented immigrants. There were quests from Iglesia de los Amigos, I believe their name was. Children who went to the meeting but had no fathers because they had been deported but they remained because they were citizens. Women who had lost their husbands to deportation. It was heartbreaking.

Many people ask me what I think of all these other illegals, after finding out I am undocumented, leaching on the country. I tell them while the United States has the right to control their borders human beings have the right to try to make a better life for themselves and their families. They do not leach off the country they pay taxes and are usually law abiding, other than being undocumented, and do not want to be here undocumented. They all want to have visas, they wanted to get visas before coming here and wanted to enter legally through a check point in a car seat like a human being instead of in the back of a van packed in tighter than the slaves on their way here from Africa crushing people beneath them to death and being crushed by those above them. We are human beings forced into this. Some people may say that we chose to come here. I did not, my parents chose for me. They did not poverty and the cries of their hungry children did. It was death or pay a crooked uncaring human trafficker to take them over the border because they could never have afforded a visa making $12 a week. This is awful. The United Stated is over run by people that often get taken advantage of by crooked people. They get hired, work hard and never get paid and they have no one to turn to. Women get raped and are to afraid to go to the police because they are scared of getting deported. I have actually heard men say, "If you are going to rape a woman make sure she is an illegal alien, they wont go to the police." America's immigration laws are an absolute failure like the war on drugs. They don't work and they will never work no matter how high of a wall they build on the border, how many border guards they hire or how many states adopt Arizona's policy.

I am a law abiding person and I hate being trapped the way I am. I have no life other than being a wife and a mother. Not that those two things are not good and honorable. I just have no choice. I cannot even choose to return to Finland because I do not want to go to jail. My husband and son speak no Finnish and I have not lived there for almost 20 years. I would have hard time fitting in. I want to be a police officer and I love the policies and methods of the Finnish police force but I would have no chance of passing the written portion of the test to get into the school because of my poor Finnish. In the mean time I am trapped here because I love my family, don't want to go to jail or live off the Finnish government because of my low education level. By the time I get a green card I will be in my thirties and if I want to be a police officer I have to be a citizen and I wont be there probably until I am 40, that may be way too late to start in my chosen field. I live with a lot of frustration and a lack of accomplishment. I find I cannot self motivate to do much of anything right now. I hope I will feel better soon.


  1. Is there no way to speed up the process of citizenship?

    And, like you stated in your article, you're married to an American so doesn't that entitle you to your citizenship? If so, why hasn't it been given to you? And how do you marry an American without being documented as present in the U.S.A.? Wouldn't such a ceremony be legally officiated, thus proving your citizenship?

    I'm sorry for my ignorance. I'm Canadian, so I don't know much of how the immigration laws work in America. Mind you, I'm not too sure of immigration laws in Canada, either. Let's just leave it with the indisputable fact that I'm completely ignorant about immigration issues.

    I do hope you come through this for the better, however.

  2. Kane, there is no way to speed it up in any specific way other than me hurrying myself to get my documentation together more speedily, or my lawyer working more efficiently and not making any mistakes that could cause delays. That is the process to a green card. As for citizenship I have not considered that very much yet because I have to get my green card first or at least become documented before I can consider it. green card is the only legal documentation I think I qualify for.

    Being married to an American citizen gives me a better excuse for it and it is less likely a judge will reject my application. Also one needs to come up with a convincing excuse to get one. Being married to a citizen and having a citizen for a child gives me a better excuse than say just having lived here since I was 10. I was documented at the time of my marriage, I still had a valid student visa. I do not recall having to prove my legal residence at the time so it may have not been something they asked.

    I am sure the immigration laws in Canada are a lot clearer. I can not imagine that they could be any more arbitrary than here and still somewhat function.