Friday, June 1, 2007

Entering the United States Pregnant

Interesting letter about a female Pakistani doctor and her dealings with U.S. immigration has been published in Dawn today.

Dr. Nimy writes that on arriving in Chicago, her visa was immediately revoked by immigration authorities because they discovered her to be pregnant. She was to be deported but quickly became ill because of stress and taken to a local hospital. She was allowed to stay in the United States until her health recovered. She later gave birth to her child in a Houston hospital. She tried to protest the revocation of her visa to USCIS, but was ignored. She returned to Pakistan soon after.

She writes:
We are a country cooperating with the US administration in its war against terror and our country has been suffering on that account too.

As against this, the treatment of the US immigration authorities with the Pakistani visitors is so unduly harsh as mentioned above.

It is, therefore, requested to the US/Pakistan administration to kindly look into my case and to possibly rectify the undue wrong so done to me and to see whether the treatment of the US immigration authorities towards me was legally and morally justified.
The USCIS sees all visa seekers as potential immigrants irrespective of their country, and doesn't care whether it cooperates in the war against terrorism or not. So there is no special treatment because Dr. Nimy is a Pakistani.

Though to Dr. Nimy this sounds harsh, it is well within the immigration officer’s purview to revoke her visa because she is pregnant. Because the U.S. Constitution specifically states that anybody born on U.S. soil becomes an automatic citizen, thousands of pregnant immigrants, legal and illegal, try to enter the United States so their newborns will become U.S. citizens, thus allowing, hopefully, them, the parent(s), to remain in the United States as well. So seeing Dr. Nimy in a pregnant state, the immigration officer, naturally, refused to allow her entry into the United States.

Dr. Nimy’s treatment may sound harsh, and arguably immoral, but it is very legal.

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