Being Followed And Not Liked By The Government

Deep Engagement

Are you a person of interest? Could you become one? Does it even matter when it looks like the whole push is to just assume that immigrants are up to no good and problematic.

Dissenting viewpoints are no longer welcome. Do not take to the knee. The First Amendment seems to be eroding pretty quickly for Citizens, so Legal Resident Aliens holding Green Cards would have to be on more shaky ground, and unestablished immigrants even more so.

You could say I am lucky in that if something goes down I could always go back to England, but it is unsettling to me that this is a thought I have to even have. This is my home — I’ve been here 10 years. Am I being alarmist? Maybe you could say that. But who knows if something they have said might offend the current government and provoke a disproportionate response? It’s not like it’s unheard of.

I write satire. I’m not Republican. I discuss politics. I don’t like Trump. Should I pretend I do so as not to come under scrutiny? It’s not like I could erase all my internet tracks even if I wanted to.

There is some irony in this — that a President who complained about being spied on by his predecessor, is facilitating a mass surveillance of the civilian population. White Supremacists will probably not come under a similar level of scrutiny, because they are fine people. Leftists, liberals, and critical people like myself however? Well, we may be fair game.

With a Muslim ban in place. With LGBTQ rights under attack, With the erosion of women’s rights. With the targeting of any kind of dissent from the narrative put out by the White House. With the militarization of the police force. If you aren’t already worried, maybe you should be.

It takes less and less to be inflammatory. I get that violent protest is problematic; but peaceful protest has been provoking calls for people to be shot.

I can’t stop though — I have to call out bad things if I see them. What kind of person would I be if I didn’t? And if it puts me in danger I suppose it does. Some might say, if you are worried stop rocking the boat. I know some people would deny my right to say anything as I wasn’t born here, but hey, I’ve been paying taxes for a while, and I paid for my Green Card, and if you spoke to the people who know me I think they would agree that I have added to their lives and the various communities I am part of.

I had already had thoughts about not carrying computers or phones through customs. Why? Because I have been on the receiving end of a Customs Officer on a power trip when I was part of the Visa Waiver program. Just go read about the journalists who were detained for not handing over their passwords recently. Things are changing, and not for the better.

I’m not Christian. I am not particularly patriotic — I wasn’t when I was in England. I love my friends and where I live, and I have spent thousands of hours volunteering to help my community, but what would that count for?

In my interview for my Green Card it was suggested I was doing it for money, and that I was a con artist, and this was when I was in a good faith marriage for 5 years.

The argument that if you haven’t done anything wrong you shouldn’t have anything to worry about isn’t really a good one when the goalposts are shifting, and doing wrong is becoming an umbrella that covers a multitude of things that previously weren’t a problem.

I suppose we shall see what happens. I really hope it isn’t as bad as I suspect it might be. What exactly is beyond the realms of possibility when a President can practice brinkmanship with a social media account?

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