Poor Catalina, she has to go through the immigration process of the US. It isn't an easy process, and the whole thing costs a lot of money too. I can see why some people decide to forget the whole thing and just sneak across the border.
So far we've had to get tons of pictures taken, get an attorney, Catalina has had to have several immunization shots (Immigration Immunization... interesting), and of course, since this is government... file lots and lots of paperwork. Lots. We hired the attorney because these documents make tax returns look like a one question survey. And they say, to paraphrase "If you do these wrong you may have to start the whole process over." Yikes! At least with a tax return, you just fix what you messed up if you did something wrong.
Waiting for the next stage in the process, we receive an official noticing telling Catalina that she had to be in Oklahoma City at a certain date and time to get her fingerprints taken. No scheduling, no checking to see if its okay, basically..."You will be here, or else!" Yes we will.
Driving down in rain so hard the GPS won't work (of course), we still manage to make it to the office 30 minutes early. Cat and I run (no umbrella or jackets) to the front door as the rain pours down on top of us. We first enter a set of door that is basically an entryway. Actually, the entryway looked like it was added as an afterthought, be cause there was another set of doors that also looked like front doors just inside. And the wall surrounding the second set of doors looked like something that would normally be on the front of a building. People were standing around in the entryway as we rushed in, but we thought nothing of it as we went through the second set of doors
Right inside, there was an armed guard and a metal detector. Great...love the post 9/11 world, but I understand. The guard asked us what time our appointment was, and we of course answered 10 AM. The guard then indicated that because the appointment was at 10, we couldn't enter the building until 15 minutes (as per the clock on the metal detector) before the appointment. And I, since I wasn't getting my fingers printed, couldn't enter at all.
We had to wait in the entryway.
That certainly explains why those people were standing there. Doesn't pay to be early for a government job..er appointment. A whole bunch of people were standing the entryway, while the building beyond the metal detector was basically deserted. There were, however, chairs in the building beyond the metal detector, but interestingly enough, none in the entryway where everyone was waiting.
I guess to be fair, there were some people standing inside the building, milling about, looking busy but not appearing to be doing much. They had IDs...they were employees.
The time comes to 9:45 AM, so Cat finally gets to go inside. About 15 minutes later, she's done. That was it...appointment over. A 5 hour round trip for a 15 minute appointment.
At least that part of the process is over, and now we can wait for the next letter to, as typical of most governments, tell us where to go. If I told them where to go, would they listen?
I have come up with my own plan for immigration reform. Let me in the building and sit down in one of the unused chairs. Or at least let us all have a chair to sit in the entryway. Surely someone can come up with something that would keep the place secure and give me a chair. That's all I want! Oh, and the entryway isn't air conditioned, so in the summertime, I will also need air conditioning.
If I had those two things, they would go a long way in solving MY immigration crises. Everyone else's crises...I don't really have any ideas. They're on their own.