Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Trip To Immigration - It's Been 22 Years

That was a wild day.  I've decided to take my Mexican pension as of October 1st.  I have to apply for it on August 1st.  Immigration has rules about status changes in terms of address, marital status, and employment.  As an inmigrado I've had the same mica or immigration card for 22 years.  It's worn around the edges but every time I ask for an exit (they count the number of days you are out of the country which is a maximum of 180 days) I always check to see if the ID is still valid.  They tell me as long as there aren't any changes to the above status I'm fine.   However, what does employment status mean?  I thought I would buzz by to get some general information.  

Like I said, it's been 22 years since I've been there.  They moved once about 10 years ago and I pass by there from time to time when I go to my U.S. mailbox.  I left around 9:30 yesterday morning to avoid traffic.  With moderate traffic, it's about a 30-minute drive.  I got there only to find that they had moved to a new location.  I took a photo of the new address and found it in my phone.  OMG! they had moved to the airport side of the Monterrey metro area.  It is now 75 km from my house.   Off I went.

It wasn't quite that long of a drive as the traffic was in the opposite direction.   I found the place, a big warehouse with about 20 mini-splits lined up on the outside wall.  I was around the corner and wondered what that was all about.  You probably have some idea right about now, don't you?  I parked and walked around the corner only to find around 200 undocumented Haitians milling around and wondering what was going on as there are no translators outside and only one French translator inside.  There were also many Venezuelans, some Ukrainians, and some Chinese.  I spoke with two Venezuelan women, a sad story.  One has four brothers that are illegal in Ecuador, one illegal in the U.S. and she is in Mexico.  She says that President Maduro has destroyed everything.   I was telling her how hard it must be for the Ukrainians and she said her family lost it all apart from no longer having running water and electricity.

As I walked up to the door police scurried up to me asking me what I wanted.  I wanted to answer a hot cup of coffee but I know better than that.  I was told that if I didn't have an appointment I would need to get in the information line.  It was about an hour before I made it to the front of the line only to find out that I don't need to report my employment status if I am retiring.   I checked online before deciding to visit them but it was very unclear.

Once inside things were a bit chaotic.  A lot of women screaming and crying.  I witnessed one woman fainting and falling to the floor.  They were obviously being denied and then being taken to the back for detention until deportation.  This was a bad deal for everyone.  The president said they could come through Mexico and they did.  However, not all Haitians came from the island.  Many had already been living and working legally in Argentina and Chile, spoke some semblance of Spanish and took the risk to join one of the many caravans.  Immigration has a much different stance than the president.  The constitution marks the law and the senate has made the rules.  No wavering from that.  They were deceived and tricked into coming in hopes that they would all rush the Texas border and find their way into the U.S.  A decoy for the president to convince the U.S. to open up immigration to allow more Mexicans to work in the U.S.  He loves the remittances that are sent home to the tune of $4 billion per month.  He counts that as employment income.  

Turns out that the persons working the appointment desk are people I have known since my days of teaching delegates at the immigration office way back in the 90s.  They're still there and they still remember me.  Very nice people.

When I showed one of the agents my mica she said she had never seen one that old in a long time.  She said I needed to change it because some airport immigration officers may not accept it.  Each office and each state is a bit different just as the U.S. border agents each have their own criteria.  Next week I will have my appointment and get my new card.  Then  I will show you the old and the new or as far as the pictures what was and what is!