This past Friday my work visa application was denied. I was told by the U.S. consul that the job description I presented didn’t qualify for the TN (NAFTA Professional) Visa. Without a platform or opportunity to appeal the consul’s decision I was sent on my way. In minutes my dreams, plans, and hopes for the near future were dismantled.
In a week when tensions between the United States and Mexico are high, I will never know if the reason behind the refusal was politically motivated or not. Interestingly enough, the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) website lists the professions that qualify for the TN Visa. Engineer is on the list. And while my job description was clearly one of an engineer, the U.S. consul did not feel the same way.
I am forced to leave behind my job, my community, my friendships, and some other things of mundane sorts like my apartment and my car. I’m leaving seven years behind me. Thankfully, I have people and opportunities waiting for me at home. This can be a new beginning. I will be okay.
I am forced to leave behind my job, my community, my friendships, and some other things of mundane sorts like my apartment and my car.
I wanted to share my story in light of what has been happening. You may be one of many Americans who is not involved in your democracy, or is under the belief that your voice will not be heard. Yesterday I missed what was supposed to be my flight back home. Today I did not show up to my office. But my situation is much less so than severe. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for a lot of people. Seven years are not much compared to a lifetime. Not everyone has my luck and they need you.
We all heard someone saying that Trump was all talk and he wasn’t going to act on the terrible things he promised. The lesson here, I think, is to never again accept an offense to an entire gender, religion or country in the form of a political argument or in any other disguise. No matter how much we disagree, the dignity of an entire people should not be at stake and it will never be part of the solution. I may have just been impacted by Trump’s presidency. Thinking that the dirty political talk won’t affect you is not accurate.
No matter how much we disagree, the dignity of an entire people should not be at stake and it will never be part of the solution.
Throughout my seven years in the United States, I met some of the most wonderful and decent people. I know what America is about and I am certain that the bigotry and hatred of your current leader does not reflect who you are. As the leader of the free world, you carry great responsibility and you’ve got the world watching. I had the privilege to witness firsthand your love, your fight and your support for the currently oppressed. I encourage you to continue to stand up to any violation of human rights and basic human decency. Our generation will set precedent forever. Please, get involved. Get informed. Organize and speak up when you think something isn’t right.
As for me, I am thankful for the time I have spent in the United States. You have pushed me to be better and dream bigger. I will be refiling for the TN Visa in the next couple of weeks with a polished job description. If I am not able to join you anytime soon, I will be staying in my country and will be fighting on our own remarkable issues — as you have taught me.
Here’s to a better and united world.
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