Last Wednesday, February 1, a Colombian young woman was deported from Houston, TX to Bogota after the immigration official denied her entry to the US. Immediately, the Colombian and Hispanic american media published the story under terrorizing tittles about the new discriminatory policies from the Trump administration against all Colombians.
Nevertheless, the so called “journalists” that are prompted to throw a stone and then hide, had to rectify their story just hours after the initial news flash due to the inconsistencies.
Although the Colombian traveler had a current visa, she made a huge mistake during the interview. When asked about the reason for her visit, instead of simply saying that she was on vacation, she also said she wanted to study; which is not allowed under the B2 tourist visa.
Indeed, US immigration officials act like the characters from an Alfred Hitchcock’s movie. They play psychological games with the travelers keeping them in suspense with their silence while they examine the entry documents. At the end, they stamp the passport like a judge’s gavel in court.
It’s been twenty years and I still remember the freshman’s experience when I first entered the USA in 1997 to study a semester of the English as a Second Language Program at the California State University Dominguez Hills.
I was 16 and travelling alone. I waited for my turn in a preferential line and then, a serious bald man, signaled me to move up to the counter. I handed him the sealed envelope the university had mailed to me with the student visa. After several minutes in silence, I asked him, smiling, if everything was in order.
If looks could kill, I would be six feet under. He said to me, in a defiant tone, “If I were you I wouldn’t be smiling. You are missing a paper and I can send you back to your country.”
My heart stopped and I began to sweat profusely. They put me in a waiting room while they sorted the situation out with the American embassy in Colombia. An hour later, the same official came in, and with the widest smile, handed me my passport and other documentation while saying, “Welcome to the United States!”
In general, immigration officials are not very pleasant, but how can they be? They have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They are human X-Ray machines that must read people’s intentions at the entry ports of this country without violating any rights or breaking PC rules, all in a matter of minutes. When I visit my country, the Colombian immigration officials give me the same if not more grief, and I was born there!
Liberals condemn the American immigration policy constantly, but in fact it is one of the most generous in the world. A visitor on a tourist visa B2 can stay up to six months—if the consul grants it off course. In comparison with the majority of the countries in Europe, they allow only 90 days without requesting an extension, and even my home country allows only two months of continuous stay to foreigners.
Ordinary places, such as nightclubs reserve the right of admission at will and not once are they labeled discriminatory even though they use, for example, the brassiere size as the entry criteria for women or the wallet size for the men. I feel sorry for the Colombian young lady who couldn’t enjoy her vacation, but she was naïve. The world is not a traveling website.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
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