I was asked by some good friends to provide an letter attesting to the fact that their marriage was legit. One of these friends is not a U.S. citizen and is in the process of getting a permanent green card. Apparently, one of the requirements is to prove that your marriage is not a sham to keep you in the country. I complied with the request because they are good friends and also happen to be legitimately married. But as I wrote the more or less boilerplate letter, I grew increasingly angry with the need for this in the first place. Not wanting to make trouble for my friends, my letter was innocent and to the point, without a hint of sarcasm. But in order to exorcise the angry demon that has formed within me over this matter, here is the letter that I would have liked to have written (with names changed to protect the innocent).
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing this letter on the off chance that our esteemed Department of Homeland Security should find the marriage of Jack and Jill Jones in any way improper. The truth is, I feel ridiculous having to state for the record that the marriage of two good friends, one of whom I have known for more than 20 years, is in fact legitimate. What the hell business is it of yours anyway. These are honest people. If they say they are married, take them at their word. If you suspect they are lying, then I don’t see the point of this letter in the first place. What would prevent me from doing the same?
For me to have to spell out specific dates and events at which I have seen these friends together saddens me. What is this country coming to? What ever happened to the words of Emma Lazarus? I’m sure you know to which words I refer, since, as an upstanding member of Homeland Security you are no doubt Red, White and Blue all the way through. When we closed our Golden Door, was it forever? Are we really trying to dissuade illegal immigration by making it more difficult to immigrate legally?
I have known people–citizens of the United States one and all–who have gotten married for absolutely terrible reasons. Will we be routing out these villains next?
Regardless, I don’t really see the value of this letter toward your investigation, other than to have one more piece of paper in your file. Having a letter from me does not prove that my friends are legitimately married. The fact that they hold a valid marriage license doesn’t prove this either. Seeing them interact with one another, seeing the way they enjoy each other’s company, seeing two people as one–that is as close as you can come to understanding that when Jack and Jill got married, it was because they loved each other, regardless of where they live.
You wonder why people of the world have grown to hate the United States. Jesus Christ, take a look in the mirror! The answer will be staring back at you.
Jamie Todd Rubin