Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Say! How's About a Nice Road Trip to See the INS?

Walter the Excellent Ex needs ferrying from Atlanta to home. Suddenly.


Because the INS would like to see him on 5/4 at 2 PM, down here in South Florida.

They don't give a lot of lead time on notification of your Biometrics Appointment. This, despite the fact that they take themselves a couple months to perform the onerous challenge of actually SETTING the appointment. (Do as I say, not as I do. Can't you just see 'em, hunched in concentration over their keyboards, tongue sticking out the corner of their toady little mouths?)

Problem is, where this should be a simple no-brainer everyday task for the appointment makers, and they don't have to go anywhere but to the same workplace every day, Walter's a long haul trucker. So he's a little harder to pin down.

When I called INS to see if we could change that appointment time, the INS lady - this one nasty, absolutely gratuitously - said:

--We must have a letter, in writing, with a copy of the ASC Appointment Notice. A COPY. do NOT send the ORIGINAL. You must keep that! Mail it to the return address on the notice, which is where his biometrics appointment is to take place.

--Um...ok. But a different office mailed it. So that's two different offices.

--No it isn't, ma'am.

Take note that she hasn't SEEN the envelope's return address, and has refused 3 times to let me tell her he's a trucker and went to an INS office in Michigan to file the application. He went where he was. See? That's how they do, truckers. They do their stuff on the road. Cuz they're truckers.

I finally get her to admit -- through clearly gritted teeth - that the address of the local office would be a good place to send this letter. All I wanted to know.

--And in that letter, you must explain WHY this appointment cannot be met. You also may include other dates and times that may be better for him. The officer may or may not consider those dates and times when rescheduling.

--Okay. Other thing is, today's the 2nd and the appointment's the 4th. They won't get it in time if I mail it.

--That doesn't matter. It must be mailed within 21 days after the appointment date.

WELL. Personally, I've always preferred to know about cancelled appointments BEFORE the appointment, so I can schedule someone or something else in. Seems a more efficient method. But hey. That's just me I guess.

I never did try to explain that Walter is no more here to sign such a letter than he is to go to that office on the 4th but I have a Florida Durable Power of Attorney for him and should I include a copy in that letter so I can sign the letter on his behalf?

I mean, by this time, would YOU have told her that?

I wish her a very nice day and call Walter.

--Walter. This isn't like breaking a doctor's appointment.

And tell him, briefly, edited, why.

--But my load manager tried and tried to get me there and...

--Hey, *I* understand. I'm just saying. It's not going to be any easier the next time around.

--[thoughtful pause...]

--Let me call you back.

It's way past my bedtime by then but that's okay. This is really really important.

End result? He'll repower in Atlanta. That means, another driver will meet him there and take his load to its final destination. The company doesn't want him driving the big rig to SoFL for personal business without a payload. Naturally.

So k will drive to Atlanta, around 650 miles, say a 10 hour trip, and bring him home. And take him back when it's all said and done. With gas prices where they are and us broke, a bad tire, bad front brakes, so forth. But...

Voila! ROAD TRIP!!!

k just LOVES road trips.

ESPECIALLY spur of the moment ones. Oh, adventure! Oh, my pioneer ancestors!

Kind of makes up for knowing things like blogmeets are on the Not Possible Activities list.

Actually, this time of year, that applies to road trips too. With one exception: if I do the driving at night.

Much lower pollen levels. Plants that throw their sperm willy-nilly into the air do it when the sun shines, see? So at night I'm alert and ready. Or, a reasonable facsimile thereof.


And in light of recent political events, let me make one thing Perfectly Clear:

Walter is a bona fide political refugee from what was a communist country. One fine day in 1984 he got in trouble with the commies for being Politically Unreliable. So he escaped, and ended up here. With his extraordinary background - a doctorate in law, a wunderkind young fast-tracker who was the Administrator of his country's only cancer hospital at the time - the Reagan administration jumped to get him here. His status from the start was Permanent Resident. This means you're allowed to work right away, and also to stay here forever.

What happened now was, his green card expired. He needs a new one. So now they want pictures of his eyeballs.

That's what all the hoopla is about.

His status is already updated in the INS computer but he still needs the actual *card.* And without his replacement green card, he can't file his citizenship application. The simpler avenue of *apply straight off for citizenship* is Not Allowed before the Actual Replacement Green Card is issued. Meaning, hundreds more dollars in fees go to the feds, which surely never factored into this regulation.

Just so you know he's not an Illegal Border Crosser, folks.

No comments: