• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Andrew Sullivan: 18 Years To Get A Green Card

Andrew Sullivan writes today about a letter he got from his immigration attorney:

In my in-tray today was a simple email from my immigration lawyer with the content line saying simply “Congrats.” I am still a little numb, reeling, unable to really think much, rapidly dialing my family and friends, listening to my husband open the letter over the phone and reading the words “Welcome to the United States.” The “green card” was approved.

It has been a journey of 18 years – the promise of a new life and a new start for a jejune, precocious kid from England somehow always coming with an asterisk, the shame of my illness conflated with this crushing fear that I still did not belong and would probably never belong to the country I had fallen in love with.

Nothing scared me as much; nothing was able to get into my heart and soul with this level of anxiety and fear. Not HIV. This was deeper than HIV. It was a threat to the home from where I could fight the HIV.

Nothing in my future could confidently be planned; everything was a gamble that one day,  I could actually, simply, finally be secure in my own home with my own husband in a life that would have been so hard to rebuild from scratch somewhere else. That fear hanging over my head never left me from June 23 1993 to a few hours ago.

How do I explain it? So few understood, and so much had to be kept confidential. How do you express living a life rendered so provisional to friends or strangers who see you as totally secure and have no way to analogize the otherness that followed me around? How do you live somewhere for a majority of your existence and still not know if you could remain for another year, another month, as each visa was sent for adjudication and each trip abroad became full of foreboding. And as the time went by, as the stakes grew, as I put down deeper and deeper roots of work, of friends and of family, the fear actually intensified. How much more traumatic would the uprooting be, when I had reached so deep into the ground?

And then it lifts. And I do not know right now what to do or say. Except to express my love and gratitude for my family and friends and husband who lived through this with me; and to those who helped lift the HIV ban; and to my lawyer who was simply magnificent; and to those who did what they could – and they know who they are – to keep this show on the road.

The main reason it took so long for Sullivan to get Permanent Resident status is because, up until 2008, there was effectively a ban on anyone who is HIV positive from being given Permanent Resident status. The ban originated in the 1980s when public knowledge about HIV/AIDS was minimal at best and when being declared HIV positive was effectively a death sentence. In addition to the idea of not letting someone who has a deadly disease in the country (even though HIV is not easily transferred from one person to another), the other logic that supporters of the ban used was the idea that immigrants shouldn’t burden the health care system with the cost of treating a disease like AIDS.

Today, of course, we know that most of what we thought we knew about HIV/AIDS in the 1980s isn’t true. In some sense, with the emergence of the exotic drug cocktails that are prescribed, we are almost at the point where HIV/AIDS is a treatable chronic disease instead of a death sentence. After all, Magic Johnson was diagnosed as HIV positive almost twenty years ago. The idea that someone who is HIV positive poses a threat to the public health is largely seen as silly today.

Conor Friedersdorf points to Sullivan’s case as an example of how the immigration system is broken:

Think about what his case says about our system as a whole. Here’s a guy who was born in Britain, our closest ally in the world. He did his undergraduate work at Oxford University, and holds two post-graduate degrees from Harvard University. He speaks fluent English, and is better versed in American civics than the vast majority of US citizens. Tremendously successful in his career, he’s a huge net plus for the federal treasury, and a small a financial risk as can be imagined: if his employer shuttered tomorrow, he could survive on donations from readers, or get a lucrative book contract without trying, or start doing more speaking engagements and survive on fees alone.

Finally, Andrew had an immigration lawyer – one imagines a very good one – helping him through this years long process. Despite all that, it took this man, an ideal immigrant as measured by the self-interest of the receiving country, 18 years just to get permission to stay permanently!

This is absurd, and as effective a disincentive to go through the legal process as can be imagined.

Indeed. Although someone like Sullivan could not have seriously gotten away with staying in the United States illegally rather than going through the system, it’s easy to see why someone who just wants to live a better life would get fed up with a system that is rife with bureaucratic failure. Unfortunately, thanks to a GOP that has become dominated by an incredibly simplistic view of immigration policy, the possibility of comprehensive reform of the immigration laws and the system itself seems unlikely.

In any event, congratulations to Andrew on finally making it through the system. It’s absurd that it took so long.

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    This is a really good thing.

    Congratulations to Andrew Sullivan and welcome to what remains the coolest clubhouse on earth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. hey norm says:

    I read Sullivan’s blog every day…though it pains me to log onto the daily beast to do it. I join the many who are glad to see this happen.
    I hope in my lifetime the so-called republican party, which is obsessed with the “otherness” of a President who doesn’t look like them, can move beyond their bigotry and join what is becoming a vastly more diverse country. The United States has always benefited greatly from it’s immigrants. Making anyone wait 18 years borders upon sin. Unfortunately a republican party that is becoming more xenophobic, not less, has no problem rationalizing it. May time change the so-called conservatives for the better, and thus the nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Recognizing the complications created by the HIV in this particular case, Conor has the right of it: our immigration system is utterly broken.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Jay Tea says:

    Is this the same Andrew Sullivan who’s obsessed with Sarah Palin’s uterus and busted for possession of marijuana on federal land? Yeah, ain’t we lucky to have him here with his green card.

    Let’s offer to trade him for Roman Polanski.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. Jay,

    So you are equating a writer you disagree with to a child molester. Nice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  6. Jay Tea says:

    No, Doug, I’m offering to trade an alien who broke federal law (and should be deported) for an American who broke US law and has fled punishment. Sullivan showed his disrespect for our laws (he doesn’t even have the “in the privacy of my own home” defense available to him), and as such should not be granted the privilege of a green card. Conversely, Polanski is a fugitive from justice, and we should get him back to serve his sentence and pay his debt.

    Sounds like a pretty fair swap. But if you have a better candidate to swap for Sullivan, please feel free to offer one.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. JKB says:

    Didn’t he have a little drug citation last year? That right there, if it hadn’t been suppressed, would have been disqualifying. He did demonstrate an unwillingness to follow American laws.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Oh no, marijuana. Stop the presses.

    Yawn

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Legalizing pot would probably offer some deficit relief. I wonder if I can pay for it with my HSA account?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Jay Tea says:

    Doug, how about marijuana possession on federal land?

    “Location, location, location.”

    Toss in how the charges were dropped partially because it would adversely affect his immigration status. That should be HIS first concern, not prosecutors’…

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. PD Shaw says:

    So, people wanting the unique privilege of becoming citizens in this country shouldn’t be expected to comply with it’s laws, because Doug doesn’t agree with those laws?

    It’s hard to read Sullivan’s bit of self-pity without realizing that he didn’t really care that much about getting kicked out of the country. Others would have tried harder, because, well frankly, unlike Sullivan, they were at greater risk of not landing on their feet when bounced home. America was more important to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. I must confess, it would have been smarter for Sullivan to have abstained. By the same token, however, I don’t think it should have been disqualifying (especially since in some parts of the country marijuana possession is the equivalent of a parking ticket). And yes, I know, “location, location, location.”

    And, of course, the all powerful “the law is the law.”

    I suppose, then, you think Rush Limbaugh should have done hard time for his drug law violations?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. As Jay Tea shows, the whole “we’re just against ILLEGAL immigrants” thing is like Mayor Daley saying he’s only against illegal gun ownership. When it’s impossible to do something legally in any sort of reasonable matter, it becomes a meaningless distinction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Jay Tea says:

    Stormy, he was arrested with marijuana on federal property. Sounds pretty “illegal” to me.

    Sullivan’s batshit crazy on a lot of things, and while we got plenty of our own home-grown batshit crazies, that isn’t enough to toss him out. His contempt for our laws, however, should.

    But I guess he’s the right kind of batshit crazy (mainly going after Republicans now, including his obsession with Sarah Palin’s uterus — who’d have thought a gay man would be so fascinated with the intimate details of pregnancy?) to get a pass from the Powers That Be.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. I’d argue the exact opposite. The people who aren’t contemptuous of our drug laws are the ones that ought to be deported, as they have far to much reverence for authority to function in a free society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Jay Tea says:

    Silly me, Stormy. I thought there were two ways of getting rid of a law I didn’t like:
    1) Get the govermnet to amend or repeal the law.
    2) Break the law in such a way as to guarantee attention is paid to the law, and it becomes a popular cause.

    Hell, if all this time I had known that “just ignore it, because if you think it’s stupid, then it doesn’t apply to you” was a viable option, then things could have been SO much easier…

    For the record, I think a lot of our drug laws are stupid, too. I just don’t care enough about those (I have my priorities) to push for changes. But don’t let that stop you and PowerGlutes…

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Hey Norm says:

    I have to say that Sullivan is not obsessed with Palins uterus. He is obsessed with her pathological lies. One of those lies is that she has provided the kids birth certificate…which is only justified by the way she trots him out as a campaign prop. Anyway – She evidently hasn’t. A small distinction I know, but if you are willing to toss someone out of the country for smokin’ a doobie then I know you’re an absolute stickler for details.
    Besides…It is the so-called republicans who are obsessed with the uteruses of American women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Jay Tea says:

    Norm, Norm, Norm…

    I’m not willing to toss Sullivan over a doobie; he chose a doobie over securing his Green Card.

    And he’s STILL demanding proof that Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s son, constantly “raising questions” about the precise circumstances of his birth. One would think that those who were arguing that he was secretly Bristol’s son would have learned to STFU after she turned up pregnant… and the timing worked out that she would have had to have conceived Trip while pregnant with Trig.

    But not Sully… he went so far beyond “doubling down on stupid,” there aren’t English words for the multiplier.

    I’m not saying break the rules to get him; I’m saying don’t bend the rules on his behalf. Simple enough?

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Hey Norm says:

    Again…she has lied about it so who knows?
    As for bending the rules…as far as I’m concerned once we torture people all rules are off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Dave says:

    Isn’t Roman Polanski Polish/French?

    And if I remember correctly, Sullivan was caught with marijuana while on a walk down a Mass beach, where pot is legal, after accidentally wandering onto a stretch of beach property owned by a federal park. Not exactly blatant disregard for the law. Anyone else would have had that charge dropped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Hey Norm says:

    Hey JT…
    I was just smokin’ a fatty and I was wondering…do you think I can order a pizza with my HSA card???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. PD Shaw says:

    Prof Taylor, I don’t feel much sympathy for either hypocrite. Sullivan probably got his green card because he knows somebody, which often is how immigration works. I’d rather take the long line of the deserving and kick to the back anybody so racked with fear and uncertainty that they light up in a federal park.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Dave says:

    I’d rather take the long line of the deserving and kick to the back anybody so racked with fear and uncertainty that they light up in a federal park.

    I don’t understand what this means (Sullivan was smoking pot while going for a walk on the beach because he was afraid and uncertain?) but the pot incident wouldn’t have been taken into consideration during the green card process because all charges were dropped by the federal prosecutor early on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. michael reynolds says:

    That does it. Some of you guys so depress me over the state of the American people that I’m going to get my medical marijuana card and get well and truly lit. Maybe pot will cure the eye condition I have. The one that makes me see hypocritical, sanctimonious, partisan douchebags everywhere.

    I mean, step back for a minute and think about what you’re saying. A man loves this country. He works hard. His spouse is American. He waits 18 years to get legal and when he makes it, when he finally gets to legally join us in the land of the free all you can see is that he disagrees with you politically and smoked a joint?

    Try to occasionally think like human beings, not just like partisans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Jay Tea says:

    michael, it’s not that he “disagrees with me politically.” That was to indicate that he is exhibiting signs of dementia, and is quite possibly not that desirable an admission as you seem to think.

    And he didn’t just “smoke a joint.” While trying to seek a privilege from the government, he deliberately and consciously chose to violate federal drug laws by possessing a controlled substance on federal land.

    He had his choice, and made his priorities clear: he preferred to violate the law while, at the same time, currying the favor of the law. Green cards are a privilege, not a right, and are not infinite. I would prefer that the one he got go to someone who has demonstrated respect for the laws of the nation he is attempting to obtain a privilege from.

    But then again, if he was denied, we’d have to deal with a whole legion of whiners about how it’s so unfair that Sullivan was treated like anyone else who was caught breaking the law, and instead not rewarded for being so darned intelligent and thoughtful and such a mavericky conservative who’s more than willing to do the establishment’s bidding and kick around conservatives that the establishment doesn’t like…

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. just me says:

    I think our immigration system is broken.

    I am not sure Sullivan’s case is the best example to use, because there were and are a lot of issues that made it more difficult.

    At least in Sullivan’s case he makes enough money to contribute a lot of money towards our taxes. Even if his HIV gets really bad-I imagine he won’t be much of a drain on our healthcare system. Concern that HIV would be a drain is realistic though for somebody who isn’t famous or doesn’t make a lot of money. Makes sense IMO that things like HIV status would be and should be a case by case decision based on the facts surrounding the application.

    I think our immigration system has created a two tier system where illegal immigration is simply easier (not necessarily safer) because doing it the legal way tends to require a lot of money and time and no guarantees while the country tends to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration.

    Making legal immigration quicker and cheaper while having zero tolerance to the illegal kind would make more sense but there are a lot of people who benefit from illegal immigration or who view all immigration as suspect that I don’t see much changing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. matt says:

    This thread caused me to initiate a giant facepalm. Unfortunately my double facepalm was unable to sufficiently engage for this thread. One must wonder how Jay manages to survive in this country as such a stickler for the law. After all the average American breaks around 5 laws on average a day without even realizing it. So tell me Jay do you have all the laws in existence memorized or do you carry all the law books around in a backpack?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Jay Tea says:

    OK, matt, let’s run with your statement here.

    Sullivan was arrested on federal property in possession of marijuana. Was he so stupid that he didn’t know that was illegal, and that a criminal conviction could ruin his immigration case? Or did he choose to put his own pleasure above any such concerns he might have?

    Yeah, Americans break laws every day. I’ll even go further — I break laws every day. I routinely speed. The difference is, I accept the possible consequences of speeding — if I get pulled over, I won’t deny it or argue that it’s no big deal or that the cop should go bother someone else. And if I get a ticket for speeding, I’ll pay it without complaint.

    Fortunately, I have only been pulled over a couple of times, and each time got off with a warning. I still have a spotless driving record, after 25 years of driving. But that’s probably because of my attitude — I don’t give the cops any crap, I don’t argue with them, I don’t offer lame excuses. I don’t annoy them or tie them up dealing with me, so they are inclined to “reward” my cooperation.

    There’s no guarantee that it will work every time, but it has for me so far.

    Because I know the law, and I choose to violate it. Therefore I have no business complaining when the entirely logical and predictable consequences are applied against me. And, maybe, if I had gotten a ticket at one point, I might stop cruising down the highway at around 70 MPH.

    Probably not.

    Sullivan, on the other hand, made his own choices, then whined his way out of the entirely logical and predictable consequences of his choice — to go on to federal property with marijuana. And now he’s being rewarded for it. As I said, he didn’t even have the “I was on my own property, bothering no one” excuse, the idiot took his weed into a national park.

    At his hearing, the prosecutor admitted that Americans arrested for pot on that beach were routinely prosecuted, but Sullivan was given a pass so as to not endanger his immigration status.

    Think about it. Sullivan was treated better than an American would have been, based purely on his nationality. Because he had more to lose as a consequence of his choice, this British subject was given a break that an average American would have been for breaking the same American law on American — federal, even — land.

    There’s something seriously f’ed up when it’s an actual legal disadvantage to being an American citizen in an American court…

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. PD Shaw says:

    “. . . but the pot incident wouldn’t have been taken into consideration during the green card process because all charges were dropped by the federal prosecutor early on.”

    I’m not sure that’s true. Your paperwork requires you to report all charges and arrests.

    But anyway, my point is that there are far more people who want to come to this country than we have room available; it’s not hypocritical to screen for health, language, misconduct, knowledge of abstract provision regarding Presidential succession, etc.

    Whatever you think of Rush Limbaugh, once he’s here, you can’t vote him off the island.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Hey Norm says:

    JTs a tough guy cause he can shrug off a speeding ticket so why can’t Sully shrug off deportation. I know nothing about the MA pot case but I know a false equivalency when I see one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. JKB says:

    I’m surprised Doug, as a lawyer, I would think you’d support the rule of law. Sullivan broke the law but did get special dispensation. But in such a system as we seem to be headed for, a lawyer isn’t someone who defends using the law but the guy you pay to pay off his contacts, the government official. Hardly the rule of law any more when well known, connnected or wealthy individuals can get a pass with a wink and a nod.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. wr says:

    Shorter Jay Tea — “I don’t really care about drug laws, except when they can be used as a weapon against someone whose politics I don’t like.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Jay Tea says:

    Norm, I shrug off POTENTIAL speeding tickets, because I’ve weighed the possible consequences and found them tolerable. It’s a simple cost-benefit ratio: I can be a bit lazier and more of a procrastinator if I drive a bit faster.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of other laws where the cost-benefit ratio does not encourage me to break them. Drug laws are a bad example — drugs hold no appeal to me whatsoever, so there’s no benefit to me. On the other hand, I find people like wr mildly annoying, and I would benefit physically smack him around or kill him. But the legal price I would pay should I get caught would be far worse than getting rid of him, so he’s perfectly safe from me. He’s not worth the risk.

    Or the trouble, for that matter. But I’m making a theoretical point here.

    Sullivan had a choice to make: to take his pot on to federal land, or not to take it. He knew (or should have known) that an arrest and conviction could seriously endanger his immigration process, and made his choice.

    And yes, he did get preferential treatment. On his day in court, three other defendants were brought up for the exact same charges. But the prosecutor stated that since Sullivan was an immigrant, a conviction would endanger his status — and he didn’t think that was fair. So only the Americans had to face the judge; the British subject was let off with a stern warning and a clean record.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. Dave says:

    he deliberately and consciously chose to violate federal drug laws by possessing a controlled substance on federal land.

    This isn’t true. Sullivan was smoking pot while walking down a Mass beach where marijuana is legal then unknowingly walked onto a portion of the beach owned by a federal park. It was basically the equivalent of a marijuana speed trap. He didn’t give the cops any crap, didn’t argue with them, didn’t offer lame excuses, didn’t don’t annoy them or tie them up dealing with him, so they were inclined to “reward” his cooperation by dropping the charges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. wr says:

    Of course he got preferential treatment. For the same reason Rush Limbaugh did on much more serious felony drug charges. He’s rich and he’s famous. What a shock.

    What I am shocked by is that it’s taken Jay Tea this long to go the “oh, I’d love to inflict physical damage, but I just can’t be bothered.” The righties always have to start peacocking about their physical bravery and toughness. I know we’re all really impressed, Jay. Next tell us how much you can lift, or demand that the people who actually joined the military go off and kill some scary brown people to prove how tough you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Bill Jempty says:

    Because it happened on federal land, its worse. Aren’t there a few western states that are basically federal land? I’m thinking of large tracts of Utah, Alaska, Nevada.

    Federal land also includes courthouses(like the one where no underwire bras are allowed. Then if you take it off, you’re not admitted either. Braless is a no no too) VA hospitals, military bases, the insane asylum The Department of Homeland Security and some other places more than a few of which conservatives wish didn’t exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Jay Tea says:

    Sorry, wr, gotta disappoint ya. I’m a physical wreck. I got a long list of conditions that would pose a major threat to our national security — were I to show up at a recruiting station, I would cause several of them to literally die laughing at me.

    I recently got into a confrontation with a guy who insisted that he was tougher than I am, and threatened to prove how much tougher than I was by kicking my ass. I told him, “go ahead and try it, you son of a bitch — I’ll bleed all over you, and that will cost you a heavy laundry bill.”

    I also have repeatedly stated that I own no guns, and have no desire to own any. I probably could, but — like drugs — I simply have no interest in them, so it’s moot.

    I don’t do “tough-guy” threats. See the example above where I used you by name. I just tend to mock my adversaries, using my mouth and words as my weapons.

    And, so far, it’s worked out pretty well for me.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Jay Tea says:

    This isn’t true. Sullivan was smoking pot while walking down a Mass beach where marijuana is legal then unknowingly walked onto a portion of the beach owned by a federal park.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    It was basically the equivalent of a marijuana speed trap.

    Well, I guess this is why they call it “dope…”

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. PD Shaw says:

    I’m not sure why Limbaugh’s name keeps getting brought up, but he appears to be more of an example of a celebrity getting greater scrutiny than the normal person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Jay Tea says:

    PD, I think a part of the reason Limbaugh keeps getting brought up by leftists is that they want to prove how smart they are by showing they can spell his name…

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. wr says:

    PDS — More scrutiny? You have any idea what happens to a poor person caught trafficking in “hillbilly heroin”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. PD Shaw says:

    Trafficking? He was accused of doctor-shopping, which isn’t even a crime in many states, and which by it’s nature is more likely to be recognized when a celebrity is doing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. wr says:

    He was also accused of forcing his maid to supply him loads of illegal narcotics. But I’m sure he arranged good lawyers for her, too. Oh, wait. She’s poor. She’s probably doing life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. mantis says:

    Jay Tea again ignores when he’s been shown to be full of shit:

    JT: he deliberately and consciously chose to violate federal drug laws

    Dave: This isn’t true. Sullivan was smoking pot while walking down a Mass beach where marijuana is legal then unknowingly walked onto a portion of the beach owned by a federal park.

    JT: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    You didn’t say he was ignorant of the law, you said he deliberately and consciously chose to break it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Michael Reynolds, tried to see it as something other than a hypocritical, sanctimonious, partisan douchebag. Then I read this:

    Unfortunately, thanks to a GOP that has become dominated by an incredibly simplistic view of immigration policy, the possibility of comprehensive reform of the immigration laws and the system itself seems unlikely.

    Of course, it’s always the GOPs fault. All of the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. @Charles:

    But is this not demonstrably the case? The major opponents of immigration reform are to be found in the Republican Party at the moment. Indeed, Congressional Republicans blocked President Bush’s attempts at reform.

    This strikes me as an empirically verifiable statement. Where is it wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. matt says:

    Sullivan was arrested on federal property in possession of marijuana. Was he so stupid that he didn’t know that was illegal, and that a criminal conviction could ruin his immigration case?

    Sullivan thought he was doing it legally just like you think you do all your stuff legally but I guarantee you break several laws including federal laws on a daily business. You say ignorance is not an excuse yet you excuse your own ignorance. I’m not even referring to the obvious laws like speeding but one of the hundreds of thousands of old laws on the books that very few people even know about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. What is ultimately the most telling here in Jay Tea’s rigid “the law is the law” bit is that it shows absolutely no sense of proportion. Somehow 18 years of legitimate work and success (including paying a substantial amount of taxes) doesn’t matter. What matters is one minor legal violation which deserves having a whole life turned upside down. It is ridiculous to assert that someone in this situation, who appears to have made an honest mistake, should be punished in such a disproportionate manner.

    The notion that all we need to know is that “the law is the law” is an intellectually lazy way of dealing with a complex problem–especially since every single day people are given reduced or dismissed sentences for any number of reasons. This is hardly unique in that regard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. wr says:

    Steven Taylor — To be fair to Jay Tea, his rigid “the law is the law” schtick only applies to those whose ideology he doesn’t like. His heroes, like Rush, skate free from judgment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Jay Tea says:

    Steven, my biggest trouble with Sullivan’s brush with the law is that on the same day he was brought in to court, three other people were also brought up on the same charges. And those three faced justice, while Sullivan walked — precisely because they were American citizens and he was not.

    The judge himself ripped the prosecutor for giving an alien preferential treatment over American citizens — see the Globe’s account. But the prosecutor’s argument was that a conviction could endanger Sullivan’s immigration status, while the Americans would only be burdened with fines and a lifetime criminal record.

    I agree with the judge — the circumstances that made Sullivan’s offense more costly ought to be irrelevant, as they were ones he had sought out and accepted.

    Time to amend the old saw: don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time — if you’re a citizen. If you’re not a citizen, we will actually hold you to a lesser standard and accord you more privileges and consideration than we will an actual citizen.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Jay Tea says:

    Oh, and wr: you really don’t need to advertise your idiocy; we all know you’re dumber than the proverbial box of hammers. I don’t think much of — or about — Limbaugh, and have said so many times, over many years. So nice try putting words in my mouth, but I’m afraid all you did was once again confirm your own brainlessness.

    Not that it was in any doubt, of course.

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. wr says:

    Gawrsh, JT, I didn’t realize that the essential element of intelligence was a slavish study of the writings of Jay Tea and a dutiful memorization of the gems therein. Now I understand why, when I clearly know more about politics, economics and human behavior than you can even imagine, you still manage to think of me as stupid. Thanks for clearing that up for me. And yes, I’m happy to agree that under your somewhat special definition, I am indeed stupid. And proud to be so!

    Oh, and nice ducking of the fact that you do believe in full enforcement of laws you are otherwise indifferent to if they happen to hurt one of your ideological opponents. Guess I’m really dumb if I can see through you that easily.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. John425 says:

    My problem with him and all HIV emigre’s is that he adds yet another data point along the vector of unsafe sex and is thus a possible agent in the spread of the disease. International Public Health laws ought to be written to quarantine these people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Jay Tea says:

    I got a deal for you, wr — you limit yourself to commenting on what I actually say, and stop making up stupid shit that I not only never said, but often have explicitly said just the opposite, and I’ll stop pointing out what an idiot you are when you do just spout off your DU/Kos talking points and pretend that I fit your pinheaded little stereotype.

    Fair enough?

    J.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. William Teach says:

    Unfortunately, thanks to a GOP that has become dominated by an incredibly simplistic view of immigration policy

    Silly GOP, wanting to stop illegal immigrants who generally offer little contributions to the US society from coming here and burdening our welfare and health systems, raping and killing our citizens, refusing to learn our language and culture….how did OTB become such a cesspool of wishy washy RINOism, heck, sometimes full on leftism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0