Slow to Let Them In, Quick to Kick Them Out


On the topic of immigration, I watched a John Oliver sketch about Afghani translators who had helped American troops during their time in the Middle East and the process of them trying to gain American citizenship after the fact as a means of safety.  The translators all knew that they were putting their lives in danger by working for the US troops, but they wanted to help the people who were working to defend them from the Taliban and help rebuild their country.  After their services were no longer needed, many trying to come to America and become citizens because the Taliban was kidnapping family members and sending death threats because of their involvement with the US Army.  This sketch focused on the ridiculousness of the process which these translators had to go through to apply for citizenship.  Oliver describes how it is a 14 step, as well as a several month wait which can be stretched out to several years.  The amount of information needed to apply is pretty ludicrous and requires several recommendations and interviews at the US embassy, which are not even being currently scheduled because they’re so backed up and the entire system will be changing in a few months.  Oliver mentioned one man in particular whose application process took almost three and a half years, during which time his father and brother were kidnapped by the Taliban for ransom.  This sketch was interesting to me because it so starkly juxtaposed the situation with undocumented immigrants being rapidly and unfairly deported out of the country.  Immigration officials are slow and tend to drag their feet when someone applies to enter the country, but are also too efficient at deporting people.  I think the one commonality with these two cases is that both of these groups of people are helping our country in tremendous ways.  The translators were a connections between local Afghans and the US troops to help identify locations roadside bombs and Taliban members, while the Mexican and South American undocumented immigrants are working the jobs that US citizens don’t want, but are crucial to maintaining our “normal”, everyday lifestyle.  


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