“What is the purpose of your visit to the United States, and how long are you planning to stay?”
My eyes locked on the stern, expressionless face of the white-uniformed immigration officer sitting in the cubicle. He held open my passport and alternated looking at me and my picture. Even as I crossed the yellow line on the floor, in front of his cubicle, I already caught his eyes scrutinize me from head to toe. It was at that moment, just two steps ago, that I felt my brain shut down.
All of my friends had warned me, even my relatives, and my boss, that I should be ready when I face the immigration officer at my port of entry to the US. Regardless that I have a visa, the first person I will encounter at the door to the Land of Milk and Honey, will be a coldhearted government officer empowered, by the most powerful nation in the world, to send me back to where I came from — literally.
Read more: Face-to-Face With An Immigration Officer