I travel and speak a lot.

In my first job, I had a bunch of co-workers originally from the Ukraine who were dealing with the US officials involved in US immigration/visas/green cards. They reported that the people you have to deal with before you become a citizen in the US are as bad as any bureaucrats they had to deal with while growing up (in the USSR). They also reported that things got amazing (in terms of dealing with officials) once one of them completed the process and was naturalized.

I suspect that a general principle here is that the worst bureaucrats to deal with ever are those dealing primarily or exclusively with non-citizens, because that’s where government bureaucracies shuffle people that would make them look bad. (there might be a similar effect with bureaucrats dealing exclusively with the poor, but I’ve never had the chance to talk to people who dealt with a single agency from both sides of the poor/not-poor divide)

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