It’s hard to feel positive about living in the U.S. when you have an orange racist, sexist, ignorant fuck in the White House, but I’ve tried to limit the amount of news I digest every day without becoming too ignorant of current events myself. There truly is a fine line between staying informed and going insane/losing complete hope in society.
But I almost found myself in tears at dinner tonight when I found out that my friend’s girlfriend, who is originally from Japan, may not be able to stay in the U.S. past September 9th. She’s on an H1B visa, and because she’s already had her visa transferred twice, she can no longer have her visa renewed, so she really has two choices left: leave to go back to Japan, or get married to my friend and file all her Green Card paperwork before September 9th. She was considered for a diplomat visa (I have no idea how that works, but found it odd given her organization that she could even qualify for that given her work has zero involvement with the government or being an actual diplomat), but she was told that given the current political climate, all applications for that are on hold. “Current political climate,” huh? Gee, I wonder what that means?
I could see the pain on her face when she was describing how upset and scared she was. Given her original demeanor at the beginning of the evening, I could already tell she was a bit on edge about everything. It’s terrible how little awareness the American people have about immigrants who are here on work visas, and because of that, it seems little will be done to help the plight of hard working, educated or uneducated immigrants like her and my own Chris. The system is basically set up against them and forces them to consider marriage to an American as the only viable option to move forward and continue living here and contributing to this society that doesn’t even value them or treat them like real human beings. I myself had no idea how hard it was until Chris and I started dating, and he educated me about everything he had gone through and what it’s like for the average educated immigrant here in the U.S. Unless you are good friends with people on H1B visas or are dating/married to someone who has had to go through the process, chances are that you don’t know crap about the process. And how can anyone really blame you? There are so many misconceptions of visa-holding immigrants to this country, and the media doesn’t help at all…. and that is how people are getting the very little information they have.
These are the moments when reality hits you about how hard immigrants have it, and how easy people like me have it in this country.