The late Charles Krauthammer was right about the rules of good writing. The use of the first-person pronoun in opinion writing is a cardinal sin.
To get a sense of how bad someone’s writing is count the number of times he or she deploys the Imperial “I” on the page. Krauthammer considered a single “I” in a piece to be a failure.
Use “I” when the passive-form alternative is too clumsy. Or, when the writer herself has earned the right to, because of her relevance to the story. (The story itself, naturally, should have relevance.) The second is my excuse here.
As a legal immigrant to the U.S., now an American citizen, I have a right to insert myself into the noisy narrative.
As a legal immigrant who was separated from her daughter, herself a legal immigrant, the onus is on me to share a scurrilous story that is part of a pattern:
America’s immigration policy—driven as it is by policy makers and enforces—exalts and privileges those of low moral character. It rewards law-breakers, giving them the courtesy and consideration not given to high-value, legal immigrants.
The same U.S. immigration law enforcers who cater so kindly to each illegal immigrant—the kind that is a drain on the country and has no right to be in the country—stripped my daughter of her American permanent residency privileges.
A young person travels alone and gets bamboozled at the border-crossing in Blaine, Washington State. So, they strip her of her green card.
That’s our immigration story.
My girl was studying in Canada. She got intimidated at the border and gave the wrong answer to her petty American inquisitor. So, she was quick-marched into a small booth and peppered with more questions meant to terrify.
With an intimidating display of machismo, the burly men of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bullied a young girl into relinquishing her right of permanent residency (also the road to citizenship).
La Bandida was at bay. America was finally safe.
More fundamentally, hers was not an ill-gotten green card.
The principal sponsor, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, had entered the US on an O-1 visa. Unlike the H-1B visa, the 0-1 visa doesn’t replace Americans; it adds to them. For it is granted to those with “extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics.” The O-1 necessitates “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”
Not by deceit did my child gain her green card. But by deceit is how the swarms on the border will get theirs. The squeaky wheels squatting on the southern border, funneled daily into the interior to create facts on the ground, are not refugees or legitimate asylum seekers. Rather, they are merely from what President Trump has termed “s–thhole countries.” By that criteria, Americans could be forced to welcome the world.
A refugee, conversely, is an individual who is …