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There is no straight path, just twist and turns and infuriating dead ends.  Wrong directions are always given and all the guideposts are in a foreign language. This, friends, is the immigration process.

Nothing in my experience is more capable of creating the feeling of isolation and otherness than immigration issues. Without the backing of a big corporation, or a highly prized graduate degree in science or engineering, the process is utterly daunting. Beyond being simply impossible to figure out, it seems as if the giant maze of immigration paperwork has no exit. Once you need immigrant paperwork, you will constantly need to fill out change of purpose forms, change of address forms, renewals applications, work applications, petitions, formal requests, and appeals, all while juggling translations from and to a strange and unfamiliar tongue.

Sometimes the immigration processes is like a mythical maze, sometimes a fairy tale’s dark forest, yet it is always something beyond reason—one part pure fantasy, two parts pure nightmare. Despite the dangers, no matter how many twisted paths we must follow, we who brave the immigration process emerge, like characters from fairy tales, changed and stronger on the other side of a great wilderness.

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