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The poor will always be with us, just not with the US

7 August 2013

I’m rather bemused by my fellow gringos who, with recent changes in the immigration laws here, pay somewhat more for their visas.  It’s apparently quite an imposition that the 180 day visitors visa has gone up to something on the order of 30 USD.

Jack Donoghy — not known for throwing fits — is, shall we say, understandably upset that three of the workers from his parish church in Honduras were denied a visa to enter the United States for a short stay with a “sister parish” in Iowa. Despite assurances from the Iowa parish  that they would be assume financial resposnibility for their guests, and despite having already paid the 160 dollar NON-REFUNDABLE interview fees (which also required a trip from Copan to Tegucigalpa) AND even support from Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the visa requests were denied.

Why?  The individuals don’t have a lot of money in their bank accounts (come to think of It, If Iwasn’t  already a U.S. citizen, I probably couldn’t get a visa on my middle-class Mexican income).

I know that this happens everyday and has happened twice here to two other persons who were to be sponsored by Catholic institutions in the US.

I know that this is only the tip of the iceberg that is the unjust immigration system in the US….

There are poor people but a parish in the US, which is in solidarity with the parish here, promised to pay all the expenses – and has already put out more than $800 for this.

I don’t think that is the fault of the interviewer. According to the two men they were treated respectfully.

But what the US government looks for in these interviews is the almighty dollar. Solidarity does not mean much.

Money matters, not solidarity.

I think this reveals some of the problem with US migration policy. It’s based on fear, fear of the other, of the different. There is also the fear to “our way of life.”

Security matters – but security in terms of money and what money can buy.

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