Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bureaucracy sucks

The following is an exact quote from the Child Citizenship Act of 2000:

(a) In General.--Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1431) is amended to read as follows:
''children born outside the United States and residing permanently in the United States; conditions under which citizenship automatically acquired
''Sec. 320. (a) A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a citizen of the United States when all of the following conditions have been fulfilled:
''(1) At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.''(2) The child is under the age of eighteen years.''(3) The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence.
''(b) Subsection (a) shall apply to a child adopted by a United States citizen parent if the child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted children under section 101(b)(1).''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections of such Act is amended by striking the item relating to section 320 and inserting the following:
''Sec. 320. Children born outside the United States and residing permanently in the United States; conditions under which citizenship automatically acquired.

The way I see it, this law says that Destructo Boy became a citizen the moment the adoption was final. Right? As I found out recently, it's only half right. After I received Destructo Boy's new birth certificate, I tried to apply for his social security card. This is what I found on the Social Security Administration's website:

"Please note that the adoption decree (issued in a foreign country or the U.S.) or a birth certificate is not proof of U.S. citizenship for a foreign-born child. Proof of U.S. citizenship can be obtained from DHS."

DHS stands for the Department of Homeland Security. So, even though the law says that my son is a citizen via adoption and he has been issued an American birth certificate, I still have to have additional paperwork to prove he is a citizen. Before you all say "What's the big deal?," I'll tell you what the big deal is. A Certificate of Citizenship (COC) from the Department of Homeland security costs $420. I have to pay $420 for a piece of paper that explains what any idiot should figure out from the adoption decree.

And there's more to this story....the fee for a COC went up from $250 to $420 just this past July. We received all of Destructo Boy's final paperwork before the deadline, so I hurried and sent everything in. A MONTH LATER AFTER THE DEADLINE, I get everything back from DHS with no explanation. After talking to many people WHO KNEW NOTHING, I was forced meet them in person. It was there that they told me that our application was rejected because the Dallas office did not accept personal checks. Okay...they why does it say on the website instructions to "Make all personal checks to Department of Homeland Security"?????? And furthermore, couldn't somebody have written me a note when they sent everything back to me? Even after all my aruguing, they still made me pay the new fee because the application was not processed before the deadline.

So we caved and paid, but that's not the end. By the time all that madness was over, it was the end of August. It's now February. WE HAVE YET TO RECEIVE THIS $420 PIECE OF CRAP PAPER THAT WE NEED TO GET A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD. We called the DHS and they said they are just now processing applications from July. JULY???? It was supposed to take three months to process. What the f*%k are my tax dollars going to? What the f*%k is my $420 going to?

What bugs me the most is that I feel like Destructo Boy is not being treated fairly. In the eyes of the law, he should be a citizen. He IS an American citizen according to the law. When he left South Korea, he had to relinquish his Korean citizenship. The United States of America was supposed to legally accept him as one of theirs as soon as we signed the adoption papers. And technically they have...but he has to provide proof. I am a child of immigrants, so unfortunately this type of discrimination and idiocy is nothing new to me. When my mother applied to become an American citizen, the then-INS office sent her paperwork to the wrong agency and it took months to find it. I am now reliving this burearcratic nightmare through my son.


Daisy said...

Man that sucks. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Homeland security is such a BS organization IMO, all they do is make things more annoying.

Anonymous said...

It's to make DHS look and feel important by throwing unnecessary roadblocks in the lives of our citizens.