Sunday, February 5, 2012

i'm an illegal immigrant

last week, amely and i packed out day bags and headed to santo domingo to see a friend from college who was honeymooning in punta cana. (man it was a long trip, but so worth it to catch up!) i have been hemming and hawing about my legal status, not really sure what i was going to do about my illegal immigrant status. we finally decided to do the dual citizenship when my employer forced my hand (get something, anything, or you're out of a job). with all the paperwork together, i figured i'd double dip and hit the police department to drop off the papers.

here's where things kind of tilt. i didn't want to do my paperwork because it's such an ordeal. there are lines, and a lot of people who don't know what's going on. wait for hours in line a just to be told to go to line b and line b tells you it's back to line a. i can't handle it. amalio went once to get the information we needed to complete the process, and in the same building they gave him four different papers, all with different requirements for the same thing.

so, i had asked for help. i put out the word of what i was doing and, please, for the love of god, does anyone know who can help me? not a lawyer (because they're the worst), but someone who maybe works in the right office, or even in the right building?

i hit the jackpot and was connected to someone in the right building. it's always a crapshoot because even though people say they can help, it's not always true. let me tell you, this guy came through.

arriving at the correct building (after arguing in the wrong building about my friends' inappropriate clothing), we were met by an assistant, taken to an office, given fresh-squeezed juice. i handed over my packet of papers and the fee (not a bribe) and while some guard ran my errands, i relaxed and caught up with my friend and her new husband.

i don't really know how long the process really takes, but i will take my citizenship test on wednesday (6 days after depositing my paperwork!) and will be sworn in when the depositions from the proper international agencies come in and declare me felony free.

me and kate at the ozama fort

i've talked to others who have waited months and months for things to "fall into place." because if yo don't know someone, things here don't work. i've got some studying to do - i still don't know who the first president of the republic was (trick question!) or any of the 87 different independences, but i see the light at the end of the tunnel... i will no longer be the illegal and i'll still have a job.

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