Alien Status

I just remembered this and posted a comment on The Athele Series blog, but I thought it was interesting enough to stick here as well. It was one of the more bizarre moments of my life.

After my divorce, I wanted my maiden name back on my social security card. No big deal, right? I filled out the paperwork, found all the necessary documents, waited in line (drums fingers) and finally got up to the window. I gave the woman at the window all of my paperwork. The woman looked it over, then looked at me and asked for my green card. I said, “What?” and she asked for my green card again. I said, “My dad was in the Air Force and was based in the Philippines, that’s why I have the two birth certificates–one’s from the Philippines, one’s from the US Military stating that I’m a US Citizen. I was born at the Air Force Base hospital. I don’t have a green card. I’m a citizen.” The woman called her supervisor over and told her what was going on. “Well,” the supervisor told me, “We still need your green card.” At this point part of my brain was getting very frustrated, while the other half was so incredulous it wanted to laugh, which I managed not to do. “I. Don’t. Have. A. Green. Card. Because. I’m. A. Citizen.” I told her. The supervisor frowned a little at me and said, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do until you bring your green card in.” And she handed all my paperwork back.

I wish I could remember how this issue was resolved, but that’s the only part that sticks in my mind. I think I found my passport (American, amazingly) and took that or something else in the next day and they accepted my paperwork. The thing that also struck me as funny, and I in no way, shape, or form mean this to be construed as racist, because I’m not, is that the two women at the Social Security office who worked with me were Latina. It was just a very ironic, surreal situation.

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