Thursday, April 09, 2009

Don't fence me in

Seeing that I have a both a (recently encouraged) irrational rage directed at immigration laws and a (far more long-term and stable) appreciation for wedded bliss -- especially of the trans-Atlantic variety -- I was struck by Cory Doctorow's recent Boing Boing post drawing attention to the plight of science fiction author Bruce Sterling and his wife, the writer Jasmina Tesanovic.

As Sterling explains in a post at Wired:

Surprising news has just arrived for us at our American home address. Although we have been married for four years now, the American Immigration services can't find any paper trail for the two of us.

We have no joint bank account, no insurance accounts and no joint children. The authorities therefore suspect that our marriage is a phony "Green Card marriage," and they would like to have Jasmina deported from the USA.

This is not too entirely surprising a mistake, since we're an Internet couple. By our nature, we just don't generate much paper.

We use electronic banking. Bruce uses American banks, while Jasmina uses Serbian banks. Why would anyone want to make his or her alien spouse use an American or Serbian bank?

There's no reason for us to jointly speculate in American real-estate, since we each already own places to live. No sane European would ever want American health insurance. And so forth.

Like a lot of geek couples, we live out of our cellphones and laptops. Furniture, wedding china, massive home improvement loans: we don't even go there. We have a light material footprint that'll generally fit onto a couple of rollaboards.

I don't know either of them (though I have very much enjoyed Sterling's books Holy Fire, The Difference Engine and Islands in the Net) and therefore can't offer any useful proof to the INS about the reality of their marriage, I can (and hereby do) offer that other commodity that they request: moral support.

Here's to love across borders.

Best of luck.

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