Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to be Free—so we can make them wait nine hours for a five-minute interview…


Click here to grok the immigration process nightmare

From a Cincinnati Enquirer story titled, "Bureaucrats turn 5 minutes into 9 hours."

Instead of sitting in front of a video camera in Cincinnati, where they could talk to a judge in Virginia, immigrants and their attorneys must drive nine hours round-trip to Cleveland to sit in front of a video camera and talk to the same judge.

"It's a lot of hardship," said Doug Weigle, a Cincinnati lawyer with about 100 cases pending before the court. "In one sense it's funny, but…you can see how this could get out of control."

He said the new system is more expensive and less efficient for everyone, including taxpayers. The added travel time consumes more time, gas and legal fees for the immigrants, their lawyers, witnesses and government officials based in southern Ohio.

Consider it part of the stimulus plan, an attempt to get suddenly parsimonious Americans (or wanna-be Americans) to spend extra money to bring the economy roaring back to life! It's not all gonna be solved by buying ankle bracelets for folks under house arrest or stepping up blight designations, I tells ya.

The change took effect last month after the Department of Homeland Security, which owns the space in Cincinnati's federal building where the video hearings were held, decided it wanted to use that space for its own offices. The Department of Justice, which runs the court, then decided to move the hearings to Cleveland rather than set up a new video-conferencing center….

But the Cleveland Immigration Court doesn't have enough judges to handle all of the cases, so many Cincinnati cases still are heard via video-conferencing by a judge in Virginia. Some cases are full-blown hearings or trials, but many are routine, five-minute hearings similar to criminal arraignments.

More here.

The important thing is that the country is safer, more efficient, and more equitable to all concerned. Wait a sec. The important thing is that we make it really difficult for anybody to do anything that might actually make this a better place to live.

Click on the image above to see Reason's award-winning charticle about the near-impossibility of legal immigration.

And go here to see Reason's special 2006 issue, "Immigration Now, Immigration Tomorrow, Immigration Forever."

NEXT: Don Boudreaux's Rich Inheritance

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  1. I’m not surprised one bit. Well, actually I’m surprised that once these people had driven 9 hours for the interview, they weren’t hit with some sort of “waiver” for $100.

    My wife was a foreign exchange student I met in college. When we got married we went to the local INS shop and asked for their help in how we should handle our wedding (we got married back in her country). We followed their advice and when we were being interviewed later in the process they hit us up with a $100 waiver for visa fraud.

    The INS or ICE, is the most screwed up agency I have ever run across. About the only thing they do well is come up with reasons why you should be assessed more fines and waivers.

    As part of any immigration reform, I would demand that every US citizen be required to interact with the INS at least once. It could be brain dead simple, like they only need to stop by an office to retrieve a yellow sticky note with the INS logo on it.

    I guarantee that the INS could turn that into an incredibly complex process rife with opportunities to harass and fine the citizens.

    The result would be a lot more empathy for the immigrants who are trying to navigate the system.

  2. Fuck the INS, yo.

  3. My brother is going through the process right now. The sad thing is his wife is smarter, more productive, and a better citizen than 90% of the population and they are making it hard for them. I’m amazed people are willing to go through the process. I guess their willingness speaks volumes for the regard with which the US is held. I think the true test is shear level or retardation, bureaucracy, and embarrassment people have to jump through.

  4. Oh, i almost forgot: preemptively shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  5. I wish we could swap about 10 million Americans for 10 million Mexicans. (We’d get to choose which 10 million, of course.

    Oh, and I’d trade the whole state of Mississippi for Lithuania, straight up.

  6. Oh that is funny. Love it or leave it slaves, if you don’t like it then how about we send some goons over to taser your ass?

  7. I remember the soldiers who told me, with a straight face, that a year in Vietnam was preferable to dealing with the INS.

    Nitpick: The “Click on the image” link works, but the image link doesn’t.

  8. Most hispanics are mestizo hordes that are threatening to turn America into a Third World nation. If Americans don’t wake up, by 2050 we will be a minority IN OUR OWN COUNTRY.

    YOU must call your elected representatives and begin reform NOW. DEMAND that Congress pass a LAW outlawing anchor babies and make it RETROACTIVE to 1964, that should be a good start.

    If we don’t wake up soon the United States will be a third world basket case!

  9. If Americans don’t wake up, by 2050 we will be a minority IN OUR OWN COUNTRY.

    You must be using some definition of “Americans” I am unfamiliar with.

    DEMAND that Congress pass a LAW outlawing anchor babies and make it RETROACTIVE to 1964, that should be a good start.

    Oh, by “Americans” you mean “Americans who believe the Constitution isn’t worth the parchment it’s written on.”

    I don’t know if such Americans will ever be a minority. We can only hope.

  10. MikeP saved me a lot of typing.

  11. If you can’t vote yet politicians don’t give a DAMN about you. Unfortunately that is the most likely explanation.

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