Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Disillusioned American

Anh and I have known each other for more than nine years and have been married for over a year. I am sixty-two years old, US citizen, and a veteran. Anh is fifty, a Vietnamese citizen, and business woman. We own property in Vietnam, have our own house, and Anh has a very successful job as a national tour guide. We want to go back to the US so that Anh can finally meet my family, especially my mother who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Should be no problem, right? Wrong!

For some undisclosed reason, the US Consulate's office has Anh's visa on hold. We filled out the required forms, we paid the $130 application fee, we flew to Saigon for the interview and were told that she passed but it would be a few days before they could process the visa. That was on May 18, nearly a month ago. When we try to find out what is going on, we find there is no way we can talk with a real person. The telephone number is an automated service that runs you around in circles then hangs up. We have sent three emails to the address given on the website but, we get no response. The consulate's office does not have the decency to let us know what is happening. To go to the office in person is a waste of time and money. They will not let me inside to deal with this matter. They give me a phone number to call. It is the same number that runs in cirlces.
 I find it appalling to be treated this way by my government and resent the lack of cooperation I get when trying to get this matter resolved. Why should there be any question of whether or not I can take my wife to my country to meet my family? We have done nothing wrong. Hell, we don't even want to stay in the US. all we want is a few months over there. But it's like complaining at the airport security check. Say anything and you are shoved aside until it's too late to travel. Knowing this, I have tried to be very polite, to the point of grovelling in my correspondence but have been ignored.
What has happened to my America? Have we become so fearful that we have given up all of our rights and freedoms? Must we be content to be treated like cattle while the man behind the desk sips his coffee and smiles at our discomfort. It's humiliating and shameful. Let's not forget the ideals our country was based upon; the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.


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