Fun with Borders, Part One

Have been meaning to make a worthy contribution and (re)introduce myself for some time now, and realized, what better topic than one that has been consuming me for weeks on end. After living outside the U.S. for quite some time, am moving back and trying to bring my wife with me. Work, planning a move, finding a place to live, etc is but a benign backdrop to working through and against the USCIS. If it is going to take 3-5 years to really reform our intelligence capabilities, what happens to the bastard offspring (see Daniel Drezner’s “modest proposal” with regard to a new cabinet “My very own cabinet reshuffle”) nobody knew what to do with in the first place that was reorganized under the aegis of the DHS? We need freedom and we need security – so what has happened to pursue these twin goals in the new reality? More of the same shenanigans. From my own research and now a great deal of in depth dealings, I’m becoming more and more convinced that nothing has changed for the better. Maybe this is prematurely jaundiced, but compared to the fun I had dealing with the German “citizen and residency police” a few years ago on a pretty straightforward student visa, the krauts were a walk in the park. What is the new U.S. security policy on the immigration and naturalization front? Increased, purposeful bureaucratic incompetence (more on that later) under a massive fatty swath of expensive new departmental layering. As Christopher Hitchens noted today in his wonderful slam of Michael Moore, “who hasn’t had … absurd encounters with idiotic ‘security’ staff” – hardly a telling indictment and hardly my concern. (I have, I hated it, I got on with my life a few minutes later.) My concern is that I am not sure how these new appurtenances safeguard my freedom (say, for example, the freedom to bring my wife with me) nor am I sure how they safeguard our security (and from a political objective, the second concern trumps all) — I’ll continue with of this in a day or two. Back to deciding which box of books to try take with me in place of my “alien spouse.”