Friday, October 23, 2009


This has been an extra-beautiful fall in western Washington: something (a sharp cold spell? hot days in the summer? wind from the south?) has made the autumn colors more vivid than usual. I've walked around St. Mary's, happily taking photos.

I've been thinking today, while I took those photos and talked to friends - including Patti Moore, who visited me in El Salvador this summer - how undeservedly privileged I am, able to come up here a few times each year and return to El Salvador with no difficulties. I'm particularly aware of this because a good friend has been having a hard time getting her visa back to the United States from Kenya approved, though she thought all the paperwork was in order, and she has lived lawfully in the U.S. for the past many years. She's about to make her third visit to the embassy there.

Just before I left El Salvador, a new friend, Blanca, told me about the four trips she had made to the U.S. Embassy there to get a visa so she could attend a family wedding. Each time she had to pay a large sum of money, in Salvadoran terms, for her interview - I think about $190 - and each time she was told to bring additional information and come back again. After the fourth trip she was denied a visa, but none of her money was refunded.

By contrast, my paperwork to get a resident visa for El Salvador was reasonable and fairly minimal.

Why do we, as a country, believe that we have the right to treat people from other countries, particularly developing nations, so badly?

1 comment:

  1. Why do WE as a country beleive that we have the right to treat people from particularly developing nations, so badly?

    Why do you say WE... its happeneing because of these very overgeneralized I disagree with how the US abuses aliens from non European's obviously another form of racism. these are racist in high places who are making laws, bending laws and pushing laws too keep certain people oppressed but We those whom oppose this form of biased oppression must make a stand and start being heard... We don't have to remain silent and let this injustice continue, if enough WE's come together and then WE can make a differecnce for our brothers and sisters in all nations. Don't continue to allow the notion of WE be the fuel this few need to hide and do their crooked work...