American Immigration Experience in Review

First let me say this and get it out of the way. Cortisone shots make me pain free and euphoric on day 1; jittery on day 2; depressed on day 3 & 4; and cranky, depressed, and jittery on day 5, and very talkative on day 6 (as noted by the facial expressions of my Mah Jongg partners today). My knee doesn’t hurt though. Nothing comes free.

So here is the synopsis of my experience with American immigration. It is safe to say that it was easier than the Mexico version. It does help if everyone is speaking the same lingo. BUT, our USA immigration officers (IO) have a definite protocol. Expect the process of forgiveness to be slow and don’t take rebuffs personally. Do not try to control the situation. Just let it all slide off of you. Do not tell the backstory. Do not appear friendly. Do not show any pictures. Do not offer any explanations. Do not ask to take photos for Facebook. It is like this: Wait until spoken to; answer with one word if possible and don’t think for a quick minute that your story is any more interesting than the last 13,000 immigrants. Then and only then, pivot and move on. When a missing passport is involved, expect a couple of earnest interviews, an oath-maybe two, a search (no orifices, thank God), and a lecture. I keep thinking about refugees.

Do not apply for a new passport during spring break if you live near a military installation. Try to find everything funny and worth it just for the story. Believe it when the passport application says, “Read Carefully.”

Charmin’ Billy, aka my Brother Bill, sent this captioned photo upon my return to America, the land of the brave. 201703272042.jpgHis text read, “Santa Perdida, patron saint of deported gringas.” He is a funny guy. Maybe I should make up a set of Holy Cards to carry in case I am incarcerated again.

Yesterday I went to visit Foy. I was pretty sure he would enjoy hearing my tale of woe. He loved it. He said, “Susan, this is the best worst story I ever heard.” High praise.


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