Photo credit: Stuart Isett
When I first entered the United States as an immigrant, I received a stack of government documents sanctioned by an official-looking stamp across the top that read, "ALIEN."
Ironically, the documents I received then, and which were updated periodically, also identified me specifically as a nonimmigrant
, maybe because I had been granted a certain type of visa based on my new stepfather's job in what was then a rapidly expanding Silicon Valley:
The nonimmigrant status of the applicant(s) is based on the separate nonimmigrant status held by a principal alien based on authorized employment in the United States.
This document conferred a lot of confusing information to me, a Canadian Jewish girl who had been made to leave the land of her birth, her family, her known comforts, to take her chances on the mythology of California...