Saturday, March 17, 2007

Today is....

St. Patrick's Day (Erin Go Bragh)
The 10th anniversary of purchasing our house (and I have the finger-smudged walls to prove it!)
The sixth consecutive day of unrelenting sinus pressure and migraine
The morning after I slept all night with a knitting needle stuck through my ponytail...
The day after our hot water heater was replaced
The day before I see Lyman w/Tyrell at the Birchmere
Two days before me and Lyman do the family hang thing
The day Anna finally felt well---after missing an entire week of school...

Staying home
Well, there's just no doubt we've made the right decision about my not-working outside the home. There's the relief that is almost palpable, the diminishing chaos of the household, the zillion things that have happened recently that would have kept me from the office. I didn't expect to see such relief in Rob but clearly he is feeling fewer demands on his after-hours, weekends leisure time. That makes me really happy.

Is it just my Dad or has this country gone immigration-law crazy? I get all kinds of distributions about illegal aliens this, illegal aliens that. You know what? Our immigration laws are all out of whack. They *don't* deter the kinds of immigrants that offend some people and they absolutely do deter the desirable immigrants.

Case in point:
My best friend, Dave is married (yes, legally in Canada) to a delightful Finnish man we'll call T. Dave and T had their first date on the weekend Rob and I were married and they've been together happily ever since. That makes 10 years.

T. came to the US on a student visa. He is a linguistics person and he speaks something like 1,387 languages. Since finishing his graduate work (at Georgetown and U. MD), he's been working for a local government entity here in the DC region on a work visa. Work visas can be renewed n number of times for a total of 6 years, I believe. At that time, its expected that a person will have somehow obtained a green card---either by lottery, employer-sponsorship or shrewdly calculated marriage.

Local government entity employer has dragged feet about sponsoring the green card application despite several years of really loyal dedication from T. Recently, they agreed to sponsor him. Great news, yes? Not so fast.

The immigration attorney they've engaged says his application doesn't really look that strong since T. is employed as an hourly worker rather than.... whatever else and whatever meaning that distinction conveys....

A couple of years ago, Dave and T. decided they needed a Plan B in case the whole American Citizenship gig didn't pan out. Canada recognizes same-sex unions. T. has a brother in Canada. Bingo. Easy immigration. Recently, Dave and T. were notified by the Canadian officials that their application is going very well and that, essentially, its all over but the crying. They will have a very limited amount of time to make the move to Canada once its all done, leaving me broken-hearted; probably not enough for all the green-card-red-tape to work out.

When they leave, this country will lose not only T's talents and substantial tax revenues, but Dave's as well. Dave is a senior public health official of the highest caliber...and we have a huge shortage of those in the US.

But let's say T. was a girl (and frankly, he looks great in drag). End of story. Happily married American couple. (S)he could be a person with no skills, permanently disabled and in need of acute medical care for which the husband has no medical coverage. That's not a problem. That's OK.

Am I the only one who thinks this situation is ridiculous? Do you think our immigration legislation is myopic? Should we entertain the notion that our Texan-President equates immigration with the Texas/California border alone?

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