July 07, 2011

Job opportunities in print journalism have been dwindling for years. Plenty of citizens would have given a limb for that job Vargas got at the Washington Post. How did he get it? It probably didn’t hurt that he was an affirmative-action three-fer: An immigrant, Hispanic-surnamed (though ethnically Filipino), and homosexual.

Henry Velandia. For Third World gamers of the US immigration system, the main difficulty must be to keep up with the ever-increasing number of ways we make the system-gaming easier. Our latest helping hand: same-sex marriage.

Henry Velandia, a 27-year-old professional salsa dancer from Caracas [Venezuela] now living in New Jersey, legally married US citizen Josh Vandiver, 30, in Connecticut last year, but due to the Defense of Marriage Act—a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman—Vandiver was not allowed to sponsor Velandia for a green card in the same way a heterosexual person could for his or her spouse. The Department of Homeland Security nevertheless decided to drop deportation efforts against him Wednesday.

So we have just de facto extended asylum rights to any person, from anywhere in the world, who claims to be homosexual. Over in Ouagadougou they’re already recording a new set of cassette tapes.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi. Both these gentlemen were arrested in May on terrorism charges. Both had entered the USA in 2009 as refugees, in spite of active careers fighting against US troops in Iraq.

The things they’re accused of doing were in Iraq, their fingerprints were found on IEDs in Iraq….They got into this country as a mistake….

I wonder how many similar “mistakes” there were among the 56,000 Iraqis admitted to the USA for settlement under that same refugee program.

And there was no shortage of public funds to provide Mr. Alwan and Mr. Hammadi with the necessities of life—you know, stuff such as housing and health care—that you, Joe Citizen, have to work your ass off for:

Both entered the country legally as Iraqi refugees, receiving publicly funded housing assistance and health care.

Zeituni Onyango. Out of the news since her big break last year, Barack Obama’s Aunt Zeituni remains a poster gal for the propositions that: (a) If a US federal judge orders you to do something and you don’t do it, nothing whatever will happen to you. (b) If you make illegal contributions to the campaign of a presidential candidate to whom you are related, and that candidate becomes president, nothing whatever will happen to you. (c) No matter how deep a pit of debt the USA and its states and municipalities sink down into, there’s always $700 a month and free housing to spare for a foreign freeloader.

Some of those who claim asylum really do have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries; some refugees are honestly grateful for our generosity and determined to enter into the American spirit of industrious self-support; and most Filipinos seeking to enter the USA for reasons of family reunification seem willing to wait out the legal process for the number of years—up to twenty-three in the F4 category—listed here.

I am also aware that many Americans would consider these freeloaders and public nuisances to be incidental to the larger purpose of proving our benevolence and fulfilling our mission as a haven for the poor and oppressed—just a tolerable trace of grit in the machinery. In this view the costs of housing, feeding, educating, healing, and/or prosecuting and incarcerating the Vargases, Onyangos, et al., are merely part of what is required from us, to whom so much has been given.

Does it not sometimes occur even to these gentle souls that it might, by dint of a more rigorous regulation of entry and settlement, be possible to maintain our status as the Hope of the World while shedding our growing reputation as the Suckers of the World?



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