Monday, April 2, 2012

Now You Can Play Along At Home!

The Husband has suddenly out of the blue decided to become a US citizen.  This means, should he be granted citizenship, that he can’t be deported.  And that he can vote.  This also means that we now get to spend vast quantities of time and money on yet another round of Bureaucratic Bingo.  It's super fun.  I'll give you an example.  Here's how you play:

1) The Husband was required, when he applied for and was granted status as a Resident Alien, to provide his fingerprints. 

2) These fingerprints are embedded in the "green card" he is required to carry with him at all times.

3) Homeland Security, in processing his application for citizenship, requires a set of fingerprints.  They also require a copy of his green card.  (The one with the fingerprints on it.  'Member that one?)

4)  We had to drive two hours to Ft Worth for him to have his fingerprints taken by Homeland Security.  This process took 6.3 minutes.  Literally.   I timed it.  With a timer.  Those Homeland Security people were both friendly and efficient.  The bastards. 

5) Then we had to drive two hours back home.  This process cost us $168.  Plus $80 in gas.  Plus $25 for lunch.  For some fingerprints they already had on file.

Bingo!!  What did we win?

If, at the end, the answer is not "The right to vote and not be summarily deported" I'm going to be really irritated.  We haven't even gotten to The Taking Of The Test part or the fact that The Husband forgot one item in his application packet and when he immediately called to rectify the problem they informed him that they might allow him to continue with the process.  Or they might deny his application.  They can't say.  It's up to the individual processor.  That one cost us $780.

Bureaucratic Bingo is the dog people.  You should all play!

(I was going to say, "it's the bomb" but then it occurred to me that I probably shouldn't write a post with both "Homeland Security" and "the bomb" in it. 

Uh.  Son of a—!!!)

And yes, I'm pretty sure that when they say "Resident Alien", in The Husband's case they mean an actual extraterrestrial.   It’s the only explanation.


  1. Oh, crappity-ola! Good luck. My brother is doing this (well, he's in the earlier, please-don't-kick-me-out-of-your-country-cuz-I'm-in-love-with-this-girl phase) in Australia right now. Which is still happy fun joy. The fingerprints/background check he had to get the Mounties to do---initially he had sent (what was allegedly) the application, including money order. Six months went by, and he couldn't find out whether his application had been received, or even if the money order had been cashed. So when he came home to visit last summer, he got it done again. Then the results mailed to my house, and I mailed the envelope on to him. With tracking.

    The results from his first application arrived a week after my envelope did.

    And I can only imagine the US application process is worse...

  2. At least you guys can actually read the paperwork given to you in such instances. Then again, NOT being able to read it may be less time consuming. In the end, what I'm trying to say is: I feel your pain.

  3. I hope it all goes well for him. With you and the girls, I'm sure he won't be deported. When I first became a sub teacher 15 years ago, I had to have myself fingerprinted every year, like they changed or something--and pay for the privilege. Now it's all digitized and I don't have to do it any longer.

  4. What's the un-British part? The standing around waiting in lines for people to tell me to go join another line and pay some more money for something I already did? Cos that's a national sport for us Brits....If I count up, I've probably spent about 3 years jumping through immigration hoops between New Zealand and the US. The only reason I'm doing it now is so I don't have to deal with it again in another 10 years. Funny thing is the tests you have to do require that I can speak, read and write one sentence in English and get 6 out of 10 civics questions correct. I think you have to pay $150 per question. And drive to New York for it. And give up your first born child.

  5. JEEEEEEEEEEEZ. You've done enough hoop jumping to last you quite awhile, I imagine.

  6. I'm tired reading this; that's just too much exercise.

    I hope things turn out well!

  7. funny! I say the exact same thing about my husband being an actual alien! When the kids where little he used to tease them with scary 'alien' noses! He's Canadian with a Permanent Resident Alien card - but I think we'll leave you to play this bingo game alone. g

  8. The Germans simplified the process... People aren't required to prove they can speak german anymore - though I'm not sure if an actual German could answer the civics questions.

    1. LOL that's exactly what we've been saying. He got a very nice booklet with the 100 possible questions and a study DVD from Homeland Security on his way out the door. It's pretty nice, really, but I'm not sure most American's would be able to answer all 100 questions.

      On a positive note, not two weeks after the fingerprint excursion he got a letter setting the date and time for his test! That's amazingly fast. In fact, so fast that if he didn't speak English as his first language he'd probably be panick-stricken at how little time he had to study!


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