April 6, 2007

Luna's Fingerprints

Luna had her biometrics appointment this morning, at a small unassuming USCIS office building near downtown San Jose. The procedure was simple but a little time consuming. We had to fill out a form containing some biographical information (a little strange, considering that is information they should already have) and present her passport as ID along with the appointment notice. Then she waited a while to get fingerprinted. I'm not entirely sure what the next step is, but Luna said we should be receiving something in the mail soon. I believe we just need to wait for her residency card.

I understand why the government wants immigrants to be fingerprinted; it's a simple way of getting immigrants into their identification databases for whatever reason they may need in the future. Criminal activity being a good example. People are also willing to do things like this as part of this sort of process without becoming upset.

But if you really think about it, it's somewhat unfair. In the same way that it's unfair that naturalization requires knowledge of U.S. laws and facts that the majority of people born as U.S. citizens do not know. Since I was born in the United States it is easier for me to get away with a crime than Luna, since my fingerprints are not in any database. Being born within the political map line also means I don't need to speak English to live here. While there are pressures and even some requirements being talked about for immigrants to become fairly proficient at speaking and reading English.

I guess this sort of thing is some burden upon the immigrant to be an intelligent and integrated member of society. But I'm of the mind that people should be treated equally, whereas in this sort of situation they are not. But immigrants have no real say in legal proceedings, politics, or law since they are not citizens. And once they become citizens, it's over with and there's no real motivation for change. Plus there is always the threat of unofficial punishment for anyone who might try to rock the boat.

Posted by josuah at April 6, 2007 7:27 PM UTC+00:00

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