Rebecca really surprised me on Valentine’s Day by serving lobster for dinner. I was banned from the kitchen, and had no idea what she and her boyfriend were up to until the last minute. Let me tell you, I enjoyed every bite of that meal.
Far less enjoyable was the residency interview at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in NYC yesterday. It was an unexpectedly brutal experience, thanks to the Consular Officer assigned to our case. I was taken aback by how nasty he was.
I understand that some immigrants enter into marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card, and that the burden was on us to “establish the bona fides of the marriage.” But, Daniel is CANADIAN, for crying out loud. And there’s simply no excuse for the antagonistic behavior of the Consular Officer, no matter where Daniel is from.
We had a foreshadowing of what we were in for when the Consular Officer got a phone call as soon as we sat down in his office. It was a wrong number, but to hear the officer’s reaction, you would have thought it was Osama bin Laden. He yelled, “This is HOMELAND SECURITY. This is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I could have your phone tapped! Don’t call here again!”
Let this be a lesson to those who have the audacity to dial wrong numbers. Vee haff vays to make you disappear…
After he finished getting his kicks by terrorizing the person on the phone, Mr. Consular Officer started the interview.
Mr. Consular Officer (to Daniel): “What is your wife’s father’s name?”
Mr. Consular Officer: “Are you sure?”
Mr. Consular Officer looked down at his notes, and then up at Daniel.
He asked: “How did you learn his name?”
Daniel: “I was introduced to him by Stephanie as ‘this is my father, Frank.’”
Mr. Consular Officer: “You’re sure of his name?”
Daniel (who was now feeling pretty confused and upset): “Yes.”
Mr. Consular Officer (to me): “That isn’t your father’s name.”
Me: “My father’s name is Francis, but he has always gone by Frank, as do most men named Francis.”
Mr. Consular Officer: "Oh."
Mr. Consular Officer looked disappointed that the trap he was trying to set didn’t catch him a wabbit, but he managed to collect his wits and move on. Not much later, he challenged our attorney about the way she had filled out one of the forms. “You like to argue, don’t you,” Mr. Consular Officer snarled, cutting our attorney off as she tried to explain. I felt like saying, “You like to intimidate, don’t you, you big bully.”
Throughout this ordeal, Daniel suffered some anxiety, which is certainly understandable. I, on the other hand, just felt indignant over the way we were being treated, which probably turned out to be a good thing. My indignation helped me to keep cool and in control. I wasn’t going to let that tyrannical bastard get to me.
Finally, after exhausting his entrapment efforts, Mr. Consular Officer had to accept that he wasn’t going to be able to trip us up. He grudgingly granted Daniel conditional residency, which means that we have to submit some kind of form two years from now indicating that we are still married. Then Daniel will be granted permanent residency. I am so glad this part of the process is over with. It was extremely unpleasant, to say the least.
Song of the Day: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin