Earlier this month President Obama called the tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing the border “the best and the brightest.”
“We shouldn’t be making it harder for the best and the brightest to come here, create jobs here, grow our economy here,” the president told new U.S. citizens at a White House ceremony. “We should make it easier.”
In the shadow of the illegal immigrant crisis at America’s southern border, the Obama administration continues to hold highly skilled and educated workers wishing to come to the U.S. and work for American companies to the strict regulations of its H-1B visa program, while moving toward a policy that grants work visas to the American-born children of immigrants who come here illegally.
One of those individuals is Waghmare Vishal, a computer programmer from India. Vishal is a senior engineer for Maxxton USA, a software company based in Dallas.
Vishal, who lives in India, applied for a visa so he could help Maxxton expand their business interests in the United States. But the State Department turned down Vishal’s visa.
“The consulate thought that he was a risk because he might not go back to his home country,” said Chris Connar, Maxxton’s vice president for sales and marketing. “It’s frustrating – very frustrating. This is a government-sanctioned problem.”
In layman’s terms – the State Department feared that Vishal might not go back to India once his visa expired.
I know, folks. It’s ironic.
“A consular officer looks at the purpose of the visit and for palpable reasons a person would return to his or her own country,” a State Department official wrote to Maxxton.
Connar said the very values that made Vishal an ideal candidate for the job – were in fact the reasons he was denied entry.
“He doesn’t have any family,” Connar said. “He’s willing and able to travel.”
Connar said Vishal has been a longtime employee and he was only going to be in the states for a few months “traveling around to our different customers and helping them implement our software program.”
There’s no way for Vishal to appeal the ruling. Instead, the State Department advised him to reapply. Connar said it’s mind-blowing.
“[The government] should be cracking down on the illegals -- not the people who are trying to come here legally,” he said.
And that brings me to the story of a newlywed couple from Denver. They’ve asked me not to use their names over fears it might further complicate their citizenship issues.
The husband is an American. His wife is British. She applied for a spouse visa in April 2013. As of this writing, they are still waiting for an approval.
“The whole process has been a disaster,” the British bride tells me. “It is near impossible to get any information or time estimates.”
The State Department demanded that the bride prove she would not be a financial burden to the country.
The bride has an English degree. Her husband is the co-owner of a store in the Denver area. She said they were required to prove that they made enough money to live above the poverty threshold.
“This is all to show that the immigrant spouse won’t become a financial burden on the country,” she said.
Meanwhile, the federal government also required our blushing bride to undergo a rigorous series of medical exams – totaling $500.
“I was told that if I didn’t get that done, I wouldn’t get my visa,” she said.
So you might imagine her frustration at she watches the Obama administration allow thousands of disease-infected illegals into the country – and then provides them with medical care – compliments of the American taxpayer.
“I find the whole process so very unfair,” the bride told me. “I don’t understand why it’s one rule for one person and another rule for another.”
In President Obama’s mind, illegal immigrants represent the best and the brightest, but those coming here legally should be treated with scorn and suspicion.
“It’s been 15 months and we are still waiting -- whilst others get to take a shortcut and leave those of us who are trying to do the right and legal thing behind,” the bride said. “At the end of the day, I just want to be with my husband and live our lives.”
But to make matters even worse -- the bride’s temporary visa is about to expire. That means she will have to leave her husband in Denver and return to England.
“I love it here and I want to have a future here,” she told me. “I am educated and have lots of work experience. I want to work and pay taxes and I have no intention to be a ‘financial burden’ to anyone.”
For now the British bride and the Indian computer programmer are stuck in limbo -- trying to figure out the best way to get to the United States.
Perhaps they should consider purchasing a one-way ticket to Guatemala, cross the border into Mexico and then hop onboard the first northbound train to Texas.