So You Wanna Leave The Country In Protest
If you ever think of telling your country to go screw because of an election result you didn’t like, consider the case of Poor Joe. Poor, poor Joe. His life is in shambles, and all because an election did not turn out the way he had hoped.
Like at least 50% of us, Poor Joe voted for President. His guy lost, because he was unable to convince the public that he was less of a lying scumbag than the other guy. This was not acceptable to Joe, and it was high time he did something about it! His entire life, dirtball politicians have robbed decent and noble men of the opportunity to lead the nation into unparalleled posterity, and he was just dog tired of it.
Now, he couldn’t run for office himself, as being President seems really stressful, and would probably have disallowed him to follow The Walking Dead without Twitter spoiling it for him. So, he did the next best thing: he went away. He abruptly quit his $150,000-a-year lawyer job, marched to the nearest government office, stoically gave up his citizenship, stated his reasons with confidence and aplomb, and then hopped the next plane out of the United States.
He didn’t just move to Canada, as is the cliché; Canada’s cold, after all, and they gave us Nickelback, so clearly it’s a barren hellscape up there. No, he chose Italy, where the food is terrific, the women are gorgeous, the countryside is breathtaking, and the government actually has their act together. Oh, and good wine is dirt-cheap there, since they drink it all the time like it’s no big deal. How could Joe go wrong in his new home?
Well, Joe was not a citizen of Italy for one, and neglected to apply for any kind of immigration card once he got there. And amazingly, just like back at home, it turned out that finding work, without documentation of your legality, is really hard. Joe desperately searched for work, and desperately evaded local police, who would not be happy to find him squatting wherever he could. Not that he had much of a choice; the local hotel unceremoniously kicked him out as soon as his savings had dried up.
Finally, he managed to secure a menial, under-the-table job, sweeping the floor of a local pizzeria. Though he barely made enough to buy a pizza every so often, he was happy. At least he was away from the pains and tribulations of his former country. No, he was in a land of honesty, goodwill, and classical opera, and nobody could take that way from him.
But then, several years later, something happened: the unholy demon who won the Presidency? His term expired, and he did not receive another one. Joe knew that would happen eventually, but he did NOT expect what was on the horizon. His successor was actually…good. His ideas were logical, his plans were intriguing, and his charisma was undeniable. This guy, Joe thought, was just what America needed. This was someone who listened to the people, knew what was important, and was primed to take action.
Joe sat back and thought about his life. He was broke. He was lonely. He was stuck sweeping up forgotten pieces of pepperoni and sausage, and earned basically nothing for his troubles. He was still an illegal alien, and he couldn’t run forever. So Joe decided it was time to go back. Back to his country, back to his home, back to a land where things were finally returning to normal!
So he “borrowed” a few hundred Euro from his boss…hey, what was he gonna do, fire him? Send police across the ocean to hunt for small change? No, he was in the clear, and he promptly used the money to buy a plane ticket back home. Several hours later, he was back in America, and ready to resume his life.
Unfortunately, there was a problem: nobody else was ready for Joe to resume his life, least of all Immigration. As it turns out, you can’t just get your US citizenship back once you give it up, even if you offer tons of money and sexual favors to the guy at the desk. No, Poor Joe realized, far too late, that he was going to have to go through the ENTIRE immigration process, just like everybody else who wants to enter the country and stay there.
Luckily for Joe, the worker behind the counter at Immigration was either really nice or really lazy, because he could have been arrested and deported right then and there. But, since you never know when somebody might magically stop BEING nice, Joe ran out as quickly as possible. Luckily for him, he had a Plan B. He would just go back to the law firm, and get his old job back. $150,000 a year is not too shabby; he could get a good apartment, purchase the necessary documentation, and get his citizenship back.
Unluckily for him, however, his old law firm did not give two craps about his Plan B. They had replaced him almost immediately, with a pretty young paralegal who commanded a far lower salary, AND who looked better in a tight business suit than Joe ever did. And even if they were looking for somebody, they were not interested in hiring anybody who’s illegally here, and he might want to leave now, before they call the police. Joe did what he had learned to do best, and ran out of the building as quickly as possible.
Joe was, in no uncertain terms, screwed. If it weren’t for a few people willing to let him crash on the couch every so often, he’d have been stuck at the local homeless shelter, praying that he didn’t run into any angry vagabonds who he just so happened to have prosecuted back in the day. So while lounging on one of said couches, he did a little research, and learned that he would have to secure a work visa in order to get a job, and remain in the country until he can get more permanent paperwork sorted out.
No problem, right? Well, Joe learned there were actually two problems: for one, visas cost money. Lots of money. He would have to get a job to pay for the visa, but there laid the second problem: he couldn’t get a job, because he wasn’t legally there! Even the local 7-11 wanted to see proof of his legal right to work in the United States. They had a night guy who openly picked his nose and ate it in front of the customers, and Joe STILL wasn’t hired, due to his pesky illegal status.
Finally, after much searching, and illegal squatting on days when he could not stay on any couches, Joe secured an under-the-table job, sweeping up the floor of a small local pizzeria. Since this was fast becoming his lot in life, it hit Joe as particularly ironic that he absolutely hated pizza. Still, he held his nose, and swept up forgotten pieces of pineapple and olives, knowing that the $6 an hour the owner was slipping him would go toward something worthwhile. And it was easier work than those landscaping and construction jobs that he tried for a day and utterly failed at. Poor Joe, he was a bookworm! Digging ditches, or lifting big things and building even bigger things with them, was not something he was designed for. So Joe focused on being the best damn pizza sweeper he could be.
But Joe knew that it could take weeks, months even, before the bureaucrats in Immigration got around to processing his application, once he submitted it. So he tried other methods, most of which included hitting on various women at the bar, trying to get one to marry him so he could stay here without a problem. Well, again, Poor Joe had a problem, as is custom. It seems the women in his area did not intend to settle down and, if they did, it wasn’t going to be with him.
Perhaps all those years of acting creepy at those very same bars did him in. Or perhaps it was his sending several of their boyfriends and husbands to jail for various drunken escapades. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because marrying somebody for a Green Card is illegal, and both husband and wife would be in huge trouble if found out. So, time in and time out, Joe was forced to practice his new favorite activity: running out of a building as fast as he could.
As you can see, Joe has had it rough in life these past few years. Leaving the country in protest is not a viable solution, especially if you’re as unprepared as Poor Joe was. Eventually, things will look up. He will get his Conditional Green Card, pay more money a few years later to make it a Permanent Card, and then pay yet more money to take a citizenship test a few years after that. We do hope that Joe has been studying because, unlike the 33% of Americans who would likely fail the test, he actually has to pass. If he is unable to remember what the stripes in his country’s flag mean, or whether or not the President can make a law, then he will be hosed.
Especially if the Italian police catch up with him once he goes back on the grid. Never underestimate the unending power of a grudge, especially if it involves someone else’s money.
Jason previously helped once-powerful people deal with embarrassing falls from grace, when he suggested new gigs for 5 Celebrity Burnouts Who Need A Regular Job. –>