I enjoy Immigration Daily's perspective on immigration. I'm not exactly pro or contra, because my family's situation puts me smack dab in the middle. Immigration problems are deeper than a simple matter of enforcement. Laws should be coherent, morally justifiable, and administered efficiently. The example I'm submitting has both shock and awe value. Its a perfect example of how our government's habit of importing humans doesn't work because the system is overwhelmed beyond what it can handle.
I'm a US citizen, born and raised here by my father who served 2 terms in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group. My husband was imported, recruited, whatever you want to call it, from Toronto Canada in 1996 under the National Interest waiver, EB2 classification. Its a term the BCIS doesn't want to discuss or define, because it creates loopholes which, in my opinion, creates opportunity for corporations and politicians to exploit human subjects, both immigrants and American citizens alike. That being the case, the generally accepted view of the "national interest" for immigration purposes in 1996 is that it must be in the nations best interest, promote a better economy for US citizens, not take a job away from an American citizen, possesses extraordinary skills and abilities which are of great value to our great nation.
Our government has a national shortage of Forensic Firearms Experts. Believe it or not, this expertise is critical to the nation and the law enforcement community, in the highly unique and specialized area of forensic firearms and toolmark examinations. Specific state of the art firearms analysis programs are designed to link with Federal and State resources in order to have a wide-ranging interstate impact as an aid to solving firearms related crimes. One would think this science is pretty important, demonstrated by the fact that Congress says that Firearms safety and the prevention and prosecution of crimes using firearms, is in the national interest. This is evidenced by the fact that Congress in 1996 passed Public Law 104-106, which includes, Title XVI- Corporation for the Promotion of Firearms Safety, and Title 18 USC Ss 922(q)(1)(A). Congress, by passing these laws for the people of the US, recognized and declared that the promotion of firearms safety, and the prosecution of criminals that use firearms while committing crimes, is in the national interest. My husband is a highly skilled Forensics Firearms Expert with over 14 years of service, who has taught many firearms programs and written extensively about his profession. In fact, he authored a training manual currently in use at the FBI. Hundreds of letters written by prominent law enforcement and high-ranking government folks have testified to their firsthand knowledge of my husband's merit and how he has significantly contributed to the security of the US and its citizens. So in 1996, despite best efforts, a prominent law enforcement agency tried to fill the national shortage of Firearms and Toolmark Examiner positions. After they spent a good bit of tax dollars and a lot of time, they apparently determined that there weren't any Americans who either wanted this job or were well-qualified to fill. My husband's knowledge and experience helped the FBI, DEA, Justice Dept., US Marshal Service and the BATF gain more convictions and put violent criminals behind bars than the state had ever seen. Instead, he was rewarded by working thousands of unpaid hours of overtime. Someone even told him that if he complained or didn't keep up the pace, he'd be deported. To make matters worse, the well-meaning folks over at the INS applied their individual interpretation on immigration law and $30,000 in legal and immigration costs later, he is now unemployable. Our system cannot continue to import people. Post 9/11, my husband had the opportunity to work full-time with the US Army, as a contract Research Engineer working with life support equipment worn by the aircrew defending our nation. His good reputation as a consultant to SPAWAR/JOTC while employed as a Firearms Examiner brought the Army to him. Some high ranking folks wrote a lot of letters to our local Congressman asking that the immigration process be expedited, because they say my husband's "extraordinary skills and abilities are vital to the well-being of our nation and its security." They say he needs citizenship in order to keep working for the Army. Their attorneys say actively soliciting his naturalization is a big no. They say they have jobs that only he can fill due to his "unusual knowledge and experience." They're impressed by the fact that he provided weapons design on a system used by our Major Forces Program. The Army says they need expedited naturalization now. The folks at the BCIS say he can't apply for citizenship for another year, and having "unique skills vital to our national security" really isn't all that important. They say in a "best-case scenario, it'll take 3 - 5 years to process his N400 due to backlogs." Now after a 17 month stall, I recently discussed this matter with our Senator's office. The State Director of our district says the BCIS is "beyond control." He says that immigration issues top the list of requests his office is asked to handle. He says there is probably nothing that can be done. We've written Secretary Ridge, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Bush, our Senators, our Congressman. And all we get is silence.
The system is not working. Its not easy. Some immigrants get a free ride, some are exploited. My husband needs a job to replace his expiring contract. Our system says it values IT-backed political contributions so 3rd world countries can shuttle their people over here. I think that qualifies as taking an American's job. Talk about a security risk. Our system says all the successful security and background checks and 14 years of public service don't mean squat because my husband is a foreigner. 8 years of working to make America safer isn't worth the bother.
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