The topic of immigration reform is a recurring one, with much arguing between the political parties. First…. we are a nation of immigrants – all four of my grandparents were immigrants. But, times were different then. As a nation we are blessed with the diverse cultural character of many people from different parts of the world who also brought a plethora of skills and talents that helped build our country into the great nation it is today. In conjunction with the topic of immigration is the related topic of securing our borders. In a peaceful and in an economic stable world (utopia) secure boards would not be as required as they are today. We must secure our boarders – period. The methods of doing this are in debate and beyond the scope of my brief comments here. However, I would like to make a few comments. I believe that there must be a change that birth in the U.S. means of automatic citizenship for the child. Far too many people are busing this. I have read of “tourist shops” which promote foreign pregnant female to come to the United States to give birth. I have personally encountered one such case. I don’t think this is right and consider it an abuse of our laws. In all the discussions on immigration, I have NEVER heard any discussion about the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). They are the administrators and implementers of the immigration law and citizenship issues. Personally, I first encountered their onerous policies in 2002 and in 2008 -- my family became one of their victims. I was working for the United States Air Force, under military orders, in the Middle East when I adopted my two sons, who were my wife’s nephews, by blood, of her deceased brother. USCIS make mistakes in the paperwork and then told me to get U.S. visas to bring them into the United States and they would “straighten it out”. I complied. I turned in the paper work and three days later I was told to report in and I complied. They returned the paperwork and told me nothing could be done because they entered the United States on Visitor’s Visas. This of course was a lie – their Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM cites three different corrective actions. I have battled their wrong-doing and draconian, elitist attitudes ever since, up to and including today. If you want to know the details, just ask. My point is, I am very experienced on the subject of immigration. As a side note to this, they have a big display on the wall at their Orlando Field Office which proclaims support to veterans. And, in one of their policy letters dated over one year ago, they listed four provisions to assist and help U.S. service veterans and their families. Why then is my family a victim? My oldest son is graduating High School and he does not have a Social Security Number, and has never held a part time job as a consequence. What additional doors will be closed to him because he doesn't have a Social Security Number, all because of USCIS?
I consider USCIS to be a rogue government agency. By their very structure they have every incentive to act in their best interests and not act with justice as the their guiding value. Why do I say this? From personal experience. USCIS is not in the normal, federal budgeting process. They are 90-99% self-funded by their income from application fees. They have received an extraordinary amount of fees from me without any perceived notion of justice. I believe USCIS is in great need of reform and that until the self-funding aspect of their business is terminated, they will continue to act in a manner to generate more income, than to act honorably in the name of justice for the immigrants, while still being good stewards of our immigration and citizenship laws and regulations.