Ashley O'Kurley - Define American

Ashley O'Kurley

Miami, FL

I am enormously sympathetic to immigrants and I applaud the effort to include all perspectives. I look like a stereotypical “all-American” — played football in college, leader in my Fraternity, established in the financial profession, pro-business outward-looking worldview, etc. But I have been struggling for five years in the Labor Certification process trying to get my Green Card.

I think that a light needs to be shone on the fact that some 40% of undocumented people had legal status in the US at one point, but given how arbitrary, cumbersome and often contradictory the legal immigration processes can be, ended up falling out of status. The mental, emotional and financial resources that it has taken for me to remain in status has taken an enormous toll. ($20,000 and counting) If it is this difficult for someone of my background/resources, it should not be surprising that so many fall through the cracks of this arduous, Kafkaesque, and very broken immigration system.

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