I want you to prove that you didn’t steal 10 dollars from me! Yes, you, the reader of this text! I’m giving you all the time you need, you may bring any proofs to back-up your case, and we’ll meet in an interview when you’ll have to convince me that you didn’t steal my 10 dollars!
How does it sound this demand to you? Strange, isn’t it?! In fact, it’s a logical bias. You can only prove something that has been done, not something that never happened, that was never done. I learned this from my professor of Clinical Pharmacology, when we were investigating the structure of some scientific research articles. I never thought that I’m going to be myself in a similar situation…
Yet, here I am, at the United States Embassy, before the representative of the States, trying to prove the contrary of something that didn’t happen yet: me becoming an illegal emigrant in the USA.
The situation is simple. I am a Romanian. I didn’t choose to be born in this country – as far as I remember – yet I need a visa so as to cross the border in the States. I was born in a third-world country, part of the group of “problem” countries whose citizens don’t have the right of free movement in the US. I must prove to the representative of the embassy that I don’t intend to remain as illegal immigrant in the US after I cross their border. I have to prove that I have sufficient ties to my home-country and that I WILL RETURN. I am in a challenging situation, because I am curious to visit the US, but at the same time I must convince the embassy guy that I won’t like the US lifestyle and I will return to my country. The entire interview is quite costly and made me come to the capital city and stay over night the day before, so that I can be at the embassy at 8 o’clock in the morning.
“I’m sorry, but I won’t grant you a visa to visit the US this time, Sir!”
I can still hear his voice in my head.
“I can’t tell you, Sir!”
“When do you advise me to re-apply?”
“When your present situation changes.”
“And what do I need to do to improve my situation?”
“I can’t tell you, Sir.”
I look in the eye of the guy, and I say it slowly and skillfully using my psy abilities: “Are you telling me that, because I don’t have a job yet, I can’t visit the United States?” It sounds like “You’re discriminating me!” and this is truly my intention.
“I really can’t tell you that, Sir.” This is actually what is recorded from his microphone, but his eyes and facial expression have changed, and is telling me that yes, I can’t travel to the US because I’m unemployed.
I thank him for his time (for his microphone recording) but my eyes and facial expression thanks him for letting me know the details of my situation. I definitely prefer humans to robots; the human-touch is my ally this time.
The entire story happened some days ago. It came as a shock. I felt humiliated. And I felt the divisions that set us apart in this World. I didn’t feel equal to the American citizens. I felt that my human essence has been disregarded and disrespected. I somehow felt less human in the eyes of the US Administration.
This is how my American Dream died.