Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Two Tiers of Immigration Law

I once got turned away from entering the United States due to a piddling VISA issue (which got sorted out and I'm now a happy - and lawful - permanent resident thank you very much.)

But because of that experience, I've kept a watchful gaze on the behaviour of other non-resident rogues and the attitude the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services has toward them.

And I have to admit, I've been disgusted. As far the Immigration people go, it seems they're willing to overlook just about anything as long as you're rich enough.

I mean, we've already had the likes of brawlers Naomi Campbell and Russell Crowe given the green light to come and go, despite very public arrests for violent attacks on innocent bystanders. Russell Crowe lobbed a telephone at a desk clerk - and Campbell tossed a more lady-like mobile at a personal assistant.

Crack addict Amy Winehouse - who was recently diagnosed with emphysema from all the drugs she's smoked - was snubbed by the VISA department originally, but then allowed in at a later date - despite being a publicly acknowledged drug addict, having drug possession charges on her record and being charged with perverting the course of justice in the case that landed her husband behind bars.

And singer turned DJ Boy George even managed to keep his green card despite inviting cops around to his apartment while stoned out of his bald little brain - and letting them discover cocaine there.

Fortunately, it seems like even the BCIS has a finite tolerance towards celebrity bullshit. Due to new charges arising from Boy George kidnapping and 'molesting' a male model in his London apartment, the BCIS have denied him a VISA to go on tour in the United States.

But there's hope for Boy George yet - and despair for the rest of us law abiding immigrants. The BCIS is likely to reconsider their decision when the trial comes up.

What REALLY annoyed me about this situation is the statement the US Embassy released when they announced their decision to bar Boy George from visiting America.

"This is not in respect of anything he has done in the past, but because he is facing a trial in November in London."

Two years ago, he was arrested for possessing cocaine! In Manhattan! Which clearly violates the 'John Lennon' law, stating that anything other than a charge of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana constitutes grounds for a lifetime ban.

If you look online, you'll see thousands of hopeful American immigrants have been permanently banned for less - like drink driving, lesser drug possession or getting into fights while in America.

Not that I'm advocating their behaviour. I just want the rules to be the same for everybody. Why do the BCIS hold regular, normal folk accountable for their actions, but give carte blanche to celebrities who do far worse?

Just for once, I'd like to see the likes of Boy George, Amy Winehouse and Naomi Campbell held to task for their actions and forced to serve as an example for the rest of the world.

1 comment:

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Did you rupture anything important while laughing? Now I'm worried!!

Hallie :)