Friday, December 29, 2006

Grounded

This was supposed to be the "immigration sucks ass" post, but I don't have the energy to tell you ALL my immigration woes. Instead, I'll just tell you about one. I am grounded. The DMV refused to renew my driver's license.

You see, they set the driver's license to expire about two weeks before my visa expired. Now, normally I would have had the visa renewal documents by now, but USCIS decided to approve my immigration petition just around the time we were going to petition to renew my visa for 1 year. Woo-hoo, you would think, I'm legal! But no, because of a cock up at my employer, they filed under the wrong fucking employment category, and even though I'm approved as an immigrant, I now have to wait about 3 years for the quota to open up in the crappy category that they put the application under. So, no green card yet. Even though I'm approved for it. Well, while we were sorting out all that approval stuff, we couldn't apply for a 1-year visa renewal, and had to wait until it was all finally finally approved before we could then apply for a 3-year renewal. All fine and dandy, except the visa renewal documents haven't arrived yet. The holidays haven't helped.

The DMV first tried to make me feel like an idiot for turning up without the right documents, but I asked them what else I could have done - I got the last possible appointment before my license expired, in the hope that the documents would be here, and I hoped they would at least give me a 30-day temporary permit. No such luck. No temporary permit because my visa expires in less than 30 days. How about a 15-day permit then? Nope, no such thing. So I was rudely turned away, and told that I cannot drive from January 1st. They give even drunk drivers the ability to drive to work, but not me. I have to wait until my visa approval document arrives (the ORIGINAL document, mind you, none of your photocopies or scans). I can't drive to work. I can't drive to the supermarket. I can't drive to my appointment with my RE. I can't drive to see my 90-year old grandpa who is over visiting from England. I can't drive fucking anywhere.

Well, let me rephrase that, I asked if I was legally allowed to drive. They said no, but I was a big girl and could make my own decisions and live with the consequences. I said "are you telling me to break the law?" They said "no ma'am, but you're a big girl and you can make your own decisions". Like fuck am I going to break the law, because I just know if I get caught it'll mean deportation or some other ridiculously out of order punishment, just because I'm not a US citizen.

Bastards.

Fucking bastards.

It was the rudeness that really got me. Like it was my fault that all this was happening. I tried to explain that their OWN website says that the driver's license should expire with the visa, but they just blew me off and said that they no longer go by the visa expiry date. Oh yeah, well why refuse me a temporary permit because my visa expiry date is less than 30 days away? They just told me to stop wasting their time and come back when I'd received the relevant documents.

Bastards.

I had to pull the car over on the way home because I thought I was going to faint as I was hyperventilating so much. My hands were shaking so much I could barely hold the steering wheel. I bawled and sobbed and sobbed some more in this parking lot on the edge of a busy road. I tried to do some deep breathing, and eventually calmed enough to continue driving home. But then tried to call a buddy and ended up sobbing more while explaining the situation to him. And then sobbed some more when I called the family to explain why I wouldn't be going to visit for New Year.

Fucking bastards.

Immigration has been nothing but stress, hassle and bureaucratic nightmares. And the US wonders why it has such a problem with illegal immigrants - maybe it should stop fucking making life a misery for the ones who are trying to do it legally.

5 comments:

namaste said...

Oh wow. What a shitty day. I don't even know what else to say, other than wow. Can you make your employers provide you with a ride to work since they're the ones that screwed this up in the first place?

So sorry this happened.

katty said...

That's really horrible. I hate bureacracy. I'm sorry you are so upset. I hope that next year is better for you. IT MUST BE BETTER.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sarah! That is so horrible! When do you think this will all be straightened out? I hope you can get some arrangements for work, errands, etc. So, sorry. :( -Cindy

margieinaz said...

Oh, Sarah. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all of that BS. I can't stand our local DMV. Everyone I've ever dealt with there was just a total dumbass.
Hopefully the documents will get there quickly. In the meantime, at least the weather is nice there, no snow on the ground, so could ride your bike to work or to quick errands?
I really, really wish I lived there and could be your temporary driver.
This just sucks...

Aimee said...

Sarah- Ugh!!! I am so sorry!! That really f*cking stings!! There is no compassion or understanding at all with immigration. I hope you can get omething resolved so that you are able to drive the next 30 days. I feel for ya...