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The Mechanics
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Health Care Mon Dec 14 2009

A Health Care Omen from the Immigration Process

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.
-John Sharp Williams in a speech about Thomas Jefferson

I have a friend who is in the process of obtaining a student visa in order to attend an a university here in Chicago. The loopholes that they require you to jump through are extensive and often ludicrous, but nothing has been quite as amusing in its absurdity as the questions on a mandatory questionnaire. I've included some of my favorites:

Do you have a communicable disease of public health significance such as tuberculosis (TB)?

Have you ever violated, or engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any law relating to controlled substances?

Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice or have you been engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past 10 years?

Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States?

Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?

Have you ever or do you intend to provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?

Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization?

Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?

Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?

Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?

Someone got paid American tax dollars to sit in an office and come up with these questions. It probably took them six months and cost millions of dollars. And all for what? It screens out the completely moronic people that actually answer in the affirmative. How long do you think it will be before these things are multiple choice?

Circle some of your favorite activities:
A. Murdering
B. Pillaging
C. Violencing
D. All of the Above

Is there a way to answer any of these questions that won't get you denied entry, besides "no"? "Just for fun." "Not yet." Any ideas?

I suppose if an immigrant gets caught committing a crime mentioned in this questionnaire, they could also get prosecuted for lying to the government, but I would hope that you don't really need another reason besides "started a brothel" to deport someone.

Unfortunately this kind of inexplicable stupidity runs rampant throughout our government. Why? Because it's someone's job to create, monitor, refine, review, and update these mechanisms. Why would you cut out useless blubber when it might eliminate your easy government job?

I can't predict what kind of inefficient and moronic devices would be a part of a government-run health insurance agency or any other agency pending creation, but I can guarantee you that they will be there as they are in every part of our government. Our policies need to be refined and improved, not expanded. In the case of governance, less is always more effective.

- Correction: The above quote had been wrongly attributed to Thomas Jefferson due to the internet being a lying bastard. Thanks to Eli for the correction!

 
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Elcy / December 14, 2009 9:44 PM

Speaking of morons, did it ever occur to you that lying on a federal document can be a crime, so that if your friend engages in any ANY behavior denied on the form it is a useful charge to hold that person on.

Aaron M. Renn / December 14, 2009 10:02 PM

"Are you now, or have you ever been, a terrorist?"

Gotta love it.

The Squire / December 15, 2009 2:56 AM

So Dubya couldn't get a student visa to enter the US?

Eli Naeher / December 15, 2009 9:53 AM

Your Jefferson "quote" isn't: http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Bad_government_results_from_too_much_government_(Quotation)

conor / December 15, 2009 10:29 AM

Eli - Thanks for the correction! I found that quote on multiple websites in an attempt to avoid being wrong, but apparently I missed out on the authoritative source. Thanks for the help.

Elcy - What? Did you read the article? If you did, I think you missed the point.

Chris B / December 15, 2009 10:38 AM

Another good one, Conor. I like your style.

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