Wednesday, July 8, 2009

proud to be an american?

it's time for that dreaded trip to the capitol - a mere two hour ride that often turns into three and a half because of the worse-than-newyorkcity traffic - to get our appointment to make the baby an american citizen.

a two hour - sometimes three and a half - trip just to get an appointment? why don't you call on the phone, you ask? oh, because you can't.

here's the thing. the u.s. state department likes to make life difficult. surprise you? probably not. in order to file for the report of citizen birth abroad (the CRBA), you first have to travel to the capitol to pick up the paperwork. that's right. two hour, sometimes three and a half, trip to then wait in line to get some forms to fill out. then you have your baby and fill it out. after it's all filled out, you hike back to santo domingo and turn the paperwork in. but remember, the office is only open between 2:00 and 2:30 pm (no lie) and you need to be there early to take a number. yep, a number. to turn in paperwork.

and that's not even it. THEN they give you an appointment, usually at some ungodly hour, like 7:00am. so you show up at 7:00am and somehow you're number 36. and that 7:00am appointment turns into seeing the consul at 4 in the afternoon when she's dying of hunger and not really in the mood for cranky moms or babies.

all of that and that's not even telling you about the ridiculous paperwork. when i declared samil i was sent to refill out the papers because i wrote dominican rep. instead of trying to fit dominican republic into the half-inch they give you to write your current address. and it takes me three pages to prove my time in the states. because you have to write out your entire life according to your travel. twice. and then again for another form.

and sometimes you take the trip, and it only takes 2 hours but it takes an entire tank of gas and it's like 150* outside so it limits the possibility of even making a daytrip out of the visit (because everything is outside or old or not airconditioned) and, what? what's that you say?

i wasted my time checking the webpage this morning right before we left to make sure the damn consulate was open... and what? the american citizen services unit decided this morning they were going to close, not accept paperwork and leave nobody behind to receive complaints?

you can bet that the embassador and all of my state senators will be hearing about this shit.


Erin said...

Wow! That's ridiculous!

melanie. said...

@erin, I know! it's out of control - i don't know why i even have an american passport, because it's obvious that it means NOTHING to the state department outside of the US!