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Archive for September, 2007

Meeting with attorney

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I went downtown and met with T. today, brought in the completed N-400 form (that’s the really long form you have to fill out to become a US citizen), as well as my police record check, a print out of my Selected Service registration confirmation, and a separate sheet explaining all the trips I have made outside the US since becoming a permanent resident.

To digress for a minute. Trying to piece together every trip you’ve made in 27 years is not easy. Of course, I have my old passports (although I suspect not everyone keeps their old passports), but the problem is finding the entry and exit stamps. Sometimes, countries don’t stamp your passport on the way in or the way out. Of course, my own country doesn’t stamp my passport when I enter. So, you may know when you returned from a trip in 1987 but you don’t know when you left. I did my best to reconstruct everything, hopefully they won’t be sticklers for accuracy on that, but I can’t really do anything about it.

T. told me that everything looked good and that I shouldn’t have to worry about anything. They have a “package deal” for naturalization that includes all the filing, etc. and they accompany you to your interview. I told her that I wanted to be able to vote in the 2008 election and she said that it is possible, but that USCIS is taking up to six months to receive applications. Yes, six months to acknowledge that they received your application! But I’m optimistic.

Very generously, she told me that she would reduce my fee because I had already filled out the N400, which is a downloadable PDF form. So that’ll save some money.

The cost of filing the form is close to $700. No wonder there are so many people living illegally here. But that’s another story.

We have an appointment

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Sent an e-mail to T. today asking her for an appointment. We’re scheduled for Thursday. The law firm is downtown in a building I know well, one of my clients has offices there. Cool.


Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I got the name of an attorney who we think does immigration work, from my sister. I called him on August 26 and he referred me to someone else. So I called her office. That’s where the fun started. No need to go into all the details except to say that it was very frustrating. I finally had to give up on them and find someone else.

Researching immigration lawyers in St. Louis I came across Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale whose name I knew (they are a corporate sponsor of the local PBS station), so I e-mailed the attorney listed under immigration. He called me back today and said would forward my information to T., the other immigration attorney.

Almost a month lost to find an attorney to file a form. Oh well.

Alan Greenspan Speaks

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

On Iraq:

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

On the Bush administration’s economic policies:

“Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences.”

“My biggest frustration remained the president’s unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending…Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency. . . . To my mind, Bush’s collaborate-don’t-confront approach was a major mistake.”

On the Republican Party:

“The Republicans in Congress lost their way,” Greenspan writes. “They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither.”

Alan Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.. Penguin Press, 2007.

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