Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Person Of Suspicion.....



This picture has nothing to do with this post. But the azaleas are beautiful right now!


Hidden in among the bank statements and umpteenth notices for magazine subscription renewals we're no longer interested in, [have you noticed how, even after your "last chance" notice, they just keep on coming?] was something official-looking.....for me.

At long last! My shiny new Alien Registration Card, along with a leaflet welcoming me to the United States.

"Well," I said to the world at large, "Isn't that special."

I've only lived here since 1970 and now they want to welcome me? These would be the fine folks at Homeland Security, beloved of airline travelers throughout the land, and an even more recent addition to the US than myself.

Alien resident cards are issued for ten years at a time. Mine expired last summer and I applied for a renewal, the first time I've had to renew since Homeland Security took over the job of keeping us safe.

And, in case you had any doubts, they are working very conscientiously towards that end. They left no stone unturned to make sure I was not a menace to society, so that the good citizens of this country would not be at risk of their lives by having the likes of me living and breathing among them. After all, just because a person marries an American citizen and spends the best years of her life raising other American citizens, is no reason to assume she will not get a wild hair, one of these days, and embark on a life of crime. And the fact that one's husband was a career military man and served his country with distinction should in no way raise one above suspicion.

A terrorist until proven otherwise.

No exceptions. In the interests of national security, you understand.

I sent in the [considerable] fee, along with my renewal application. In due time I was told to report to an office in a distant city, so that immigration experts [the implication being that such specialized work was beyond the capabilities of the local sheriff's office] could take my fingerprints and my picture.

And when the powers that be deemed my fingerprints "unreadable," I was required to motor once again to the same distant city, so that the same [not so expert] people and their fancy-ass fingerprinting machines could do it all again.

And when they were once again deemed "unreadable," I was told to contact the law enforcement offices of each place I had lived in the past ten years, and obtain from them a copy of my criminal history record, which I should then mail to them within 87 days.....#$%@! What's with that magic number? And exactly what criminal history were they talking about, I wondered? A case, once again, of being a criminal 'til proven otherwise. Oh, and don't forget to include a check for the fee to each law enforcement office involved.

Insinuations to the contrary aside, I am a law abiding person, though it tries my patience when the law is implemented idiotically, so I sent off requests to the law enforcement offices of two states in which I have lived in the past ten years, complete with requisite fees.

Now, I understand red tape. I understand bureaucracy. But I was beginning to feel insulted. Beginning to feel I might be better off packing my bags and relieving the U S of A of the apparent hazard of having me at large. I could go home to Ireland. I'm sure the Little Blister would not leave me out in the cold and the rain...I would survive just fine there, as long as I was armed [or maybe that should be footed?] with a good supply of thick, woollie socks. At least there I wouldn't be viewed with such suspicion!

In the fullness of time I received reports in the mail from the investigative agencies of the States of Florida and Minnesota. They had snooped and pried and uncovered my dastardly secret...........

I had never been in trouble with the law!

Didn't I assure you that these folks are toiling, day and night, sparing no expense [on my part!] to keep you safe from the dodgy ones among us?

I now have in my possession, a shiny, new Alien Registration card, complete with its very own protective sleeve.



Which means they won't be looking to deport me for at least the next ten years....

And what else does it mean? The rest of the country can sleep easy tonight, in the knowledge that the chances of being knifed in their beds by Molly Bawn, are slim to none.

23 comments:

riseoutofme said...

"Alien Registration Card"?????

Where do they think you are from???

Mars?

riseoutofme said...

I also know what date it is today.

Hmmmm ....

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I can believe it . I have a British passport ( mother having travelled to Scotland on a bus from Co.Clare at 37 weeks pregnant , the way you do ) but still get questioned closely about how long I've been away/am staying every time I go back .
We grandmothers are to be watched closely , obviously !!

patty said...

i feel much safer now, knowing that you are a legal alien ;)

Pauline said...

man and I was worried... (but it never occurred to me that you were an "alien," illegal or otherwise. Some laws, I agree, are helpful but when you have more rules than you have people, something is amiss. I, for one, am glad you're among us ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Good Lord almighty, they should really spend that energy and resources on catching those who genuinely pose a threat. I am so sorry that this country to which you have contributed all your best for so many years is putting you through such undeserved hell.

I can relate, a bit, as every time I fly anywhere, I am selected to leave my line and be investigated by every single agent in the airport. I am a small woman with ample proof of citizenship, and do not carry weapons of any kind. By some standards I am elderly. And while they are amusing themselves searching my bodily cavities, real terrorists are doubtless doing their dastardly deeds undetected.

I'm very glad to know we can enjoy your company for at least another 10 years.

Thimbleanna said...

Good ol' gov't beauracracy -- and lucky us -- more is coming down the pipe -- they just can't help themselves, no matter what their persuasion.

Now, inquiring minds want to know. Are you green or purple???

persiflage said...

They can't be too careful, it seems, even if it takes all those months, during which who knows what could have happened. Possibly genuinely risky aliens take years to check?
Anyway, congratulations on being a registered and regulated alien. The Irish in me bristles somewhat, though.

Warty Mammal said...

Alien registration card indeed. I think we should save our time, money and energy and concentrate on real aliens, should any ever visit this planet and wish to settle.

Ali Honey said...

That is absolutely incredible. What a ridiculous carry on. I would feel rightly insulted.

What do you actually have to use that card for?

ChrisB said...

Wow! What a palaver! Do you need to present this card everywhere you go or does it just sit in a drawer for the next ten years!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Molly,

I'd suggest that you apply for the job of the person who sent you through all that rigamarole and fix the system.

I must believe that good karma will be returned to you tenfold for all these shenanigans and your patience and good humor.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

sewpam63 said...

Well, I for one feel MUCH safer... Lordy be!?

My sugar snap peas are coming up and I have some radishes peeking through the ground too. Thanks for the gardening motivation, you Legal Alien. ; )

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

On the recommendation of the U.S. government, I can now renew our friendship for another ten years!

What a load of bureaucratic crock! Still, the squirrel remembers good golly, Ms. Molly had made a number of illegal u-turns during her life of crime (right in front of the coppers too, I might add).

Molly said...

As soon as I saw "Lone Grey Squirrel" on the comment, I groaned. "Here it comes!"I thought.....Are you sure your name shouldn't be Lone Grey Elephant? As in that large, lumbering beast with the very long memory? Good thing you weren't the one deciding if I was worthy or not!

Friko said...

hello Molly
Came over from S&S's blog where I saw your comment.

I have lived in the UK for over 30 years and I still can't vote and I am still an alien, albeit it a Eurozone one now. But they don't mind taking my tax money.

brigette said...

i maintain that the people that REALLY shouldn't be here don't bother with their alien registration cards.. but what do i know.
we're happy to have you for another decade molly bawn.

The Lass said...

Geez, that sounds exhausting and infuriating at the same time. Glad you're legal now ;)

Isabelle said...

Yes, I too was going to mention those traffic infringements... Clearly the US Govt doesn't read your blog.

I wonder: do you feel like a US citizen? Or are you forever Irish? I am always intrigued by the idea of severing one's roots - something that I could never do unless for dire reasons such as that my children all emigrated to the same place.

Mouse said...

I always knew aliens existed
But I rather thought they'd be more like the ones in Independence Day.

silfert said...

I'll make those warm, wooly socks for you if you promise to stay! With a band of tiny aliens marching around the ankles...

Julie's journey said...

Unbelievable!

jkhenson said...

And to think I dared venture out alone to meet you for dinner! My husband mentioned I should be wary! ;) What interesting things our government gives people the runaround for...