U.S. immigration system
needs to be repaired
Four years ago, my husband and two friends traveled to Cuba, where they met a very intelligent, entrepreneurial young man who was their Airbnb connection/tour guide. He was 35 and a college-educated engineer. We sponsored him and he legally (and very gratefully) came to the U.S. Alejandro now has a green card, learned to drive, pays taxes, and has his own car and apartment. He is a manager of more than 130 people, and uses both his engineering and bilingual skills to excel at work. His girlfriend, also Cuban, applied to the University of Virginia to complete her doctorate in forensic engineering (assessing bridges and other infrastructure, a much needed profession). She was accepted by UVA in July 2019, and was given housing and a UVA email address. But she cannot come here. Her visa, now almost two years old, never has come through, despite pleas to U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and others to advocate for her. She now has her Ph.D. and cannot even get a tourist visa to come for a visit, because her student visa still is "an open file." Yet, people right now are pouring over our southern border by the thousands who have no job and uncertain futures. This young woman and man are exactly the young, professional, taxpaying immigrants whom we want. The embarrassing delay in processing her visa has stalled their lives and their future together. The system is broken.