Recently my brilliant and hilarious friend Becky (author of I'm Just a Girl and I've Had it up to Here) from New Zealand was denied a Visa to stop over in the US en route to here destination of Cancun. She won the trip and was taking her husband and HER MOTHER IN LAW. If taking your MIL on a trip to Mexico doesn't make you the world's best person, I really don't know what does. But because of a past charge, her Visa was denied. You can read all about her story here and here.
|Isn't she lovely? She can sing and play guitar too!|
This pains me for multiple reasons. First of all, Becky is "balls awesome", and balls awesome people should be allowed to spread their awesomeness throughout the planet. Secondly, Becky not only turned herself in for her offense, but she also paid for her crime. She made amends and rehabilitated herself. Then she spoke about it openly to all of us right here on the Internets. Then she paid $200 to the consulate for an "interview", which ended up being about three questions, with no time for her to even talk about her reform. The ultimate kicker is that she promised to visit me and to wear this horse head, while I wore this unicorn head, and together we would wild stride through the neighborhood.
If it is not obvious to all of you that this needs to happen, then I don't know what is....
So I know that you are wondering, "But WHAT can I do to help Becky?"
I have created a group called VISA for Bex! on facebook. Join the group to show your support. Tell your friends the story and encourage them to do the same!
Second: Jen has posted about Becky's journey here and Misty posted about it here. Please consider writing a letter to the U.S. Consulate- or just use this one that Misty has composed! Thanks Misty!!!!
Embassy of the United States of America
P.O. Box 1190,
P.O. Box 1190,
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of my friend, Becky Delport (nee Rebecca Brooks). She recently applied for and was subsequently denied a travel visa to be used for her impending trip to Cancun, Mexico, by way of Los Angelos, CA. I am an American citizen and am writing to request that our Embassy in New Zealand review and reassess this decision.
Becky is a wonderful person. A wonderful person, who like many, made a mistake in her youth. She had a gambling addiction which resulted in her poor decision to steal an amount of money. At her darkest moment, when she realized her need for outside assistance, she did something that I would I consider very brave and mature. She turned her own self into the police so that she could be stopped and get the help she needed. She has not gambled since, and paid for her crime committed at that time. Her arrest was many years ago. In the subsequent years, she has turned her life around, has a very good job, a husband, and family and friends who love and support her. She hardly resembles the person who made those mistakes years ago. There is no good reason she should be denied the opportunity to visit this country of ours, a country based on freedom and equality, because of a mistake made years ago. She is not an immoral or dangerous person. She is a fine upstanding individual.
Her account of the visa denial shows a cursory review of her case and an out of hand dismissal of her that is reprehensible. The individual who spoke to her reviewed her record, asked why she wanted to come to America, then asked her how much she stole. When she told him, he stamped her application as denied and sent her on her way without any further inquiry. She had brought with her an abundance of proof of her current status in society, and she was not allowed to show him any of those documents. Not even allowed to argue her case. It was not a fair or even close to comprehensive review of her case or whether she was fit to visit the country.
I am requesting that her case be reopened and reviewed. She can once again appear to discuss these matters and show you any documentation you need to satisfy you of what I am sure of . . . her status as a remarkable and decent person who should not be denied the opportunity to visit this wonderful country of ours.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I hope you do the decent and right thing for my friend Becky,
(your name here)
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Thank you all for your time and attention to this matter!
Love you Bex!
Peace, Love and Unicorns,