After this weekend explosion in the media after President Trump’s latest executive order. One has to ask, how many of you have traveled outside the country as a normal citizen?
As an American citizen, you may have a opportunity to travel to some other part of our big world that is getting much smaller. Be it for pleasure or work will make a big difference when you apply for a Visa, if needed, for your destination. So, you jump through all the hoops, paperwork, travel permits, tickets, vaccination shot sand sometimes a ‘Fee’ when filing for your Visa just to get to your destination with your bright red suitcase and you step up to the local customs official and present them with your paperwork, just to find you have just broken one of their laws.
I am using the “Red Suitcase” as a simplistic version for this case. In all your preparation for your trip you read about the local customs and laws that may pertain to you or it may have been a change while you were on your flight to the country. I which case, if you do surrender your “Red” suitcase and carry your stuff in a shopping bag, the local customs officer can have you re-board the plane and send you away. Just because you get a Visa does not guarantee you will have a good trip.
Before everyone get up in arms about my explanation, I do suggest that you take the time and look it up and read it for your self. The United States immigration policy is rather large and has been updated by your elected leaders in Congress. If you want it changed, you better make them do it. It is just going to be enforced now.
Either option you chose on your trip you are now returning to the U.S. with your passport and other travel documents. You are now in front of a U.S. Customs agent on U.S. soil, you present him with all the documentation and what you are coming back with. You answer the agents questions and now find yourself moved to a room for a more in-depth interview. Did you answer the previous questions right or was there something else? Was there some medical problem that needs checked out. Like a disease outbreak just after you boarded your plane. Did you bring something that is not allowed in this country? This is just some of the things that the Customs agent has to check off before you can re-enter the country.
That was just for an U.S. citizen, now what if you are an immigrant or refugee. Many of them will get a Visa just to get them the ability to leave the country they are in, some will try to use this permission slip to get to the United States where up on arrival they have to ask and get the permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or through their agents at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to actually enter the country.
While having a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States, it does indicate a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad has determined you are eligible to seek entry for that specific purpose. DHS/CBP inspectors, guardians of the nation’s borders, are responsible for admission of travelers to the United States, for a specified status and period of time. DHS also has responsibility for immigration matters while you are present in the United States.
Much of this information is availibly on line at the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the Customs and Border Protection website.
Once you are allowed in the country you will have to apply for a Green Card. A Green Card is needed to continue your application to become a Citizen of the United States of America. You can think of a Green Card like a probationary period. There are may rules and ways that you can get a mark against you during this time. You can find stories on the internet that people with a Green Card’s have done something that if they leave, they may have to do some paperwork to get back in or may not be allowed back in.
Many of these immigrants and refugees need sponsers to step up and be responsible for their requirments while they go through the process of learning to live and grow in the United States. Wonder how many of the ‘not my problem’ protesting crowd will step up. Once you start reading about the immigration laws and policies through the years, you won’t believe some of the things that caused immigrants in the past to be turned away for. Before jumping on the bandwagon, some study required.