Received the distressing news yesterday that one of my Filipino friends got picked up by immigration. James is one of my favorite people here in Korea. Always smiling with a genuine happy-go-lucky attitude. Hard working too, he was holding down three jobs to support his family back in the Philippines. I also feel bad for his girlfriend of seventeen years (also here illegally) who is going to have to somehow find a way to get by without him. I’ve known them both for most of the ten years I’ve been here. I’m going to really miss having James around.
James is being held in detention until he comes up with the money for a one-way ticket back to the PI. His friends will be donating money today to make that happen as soon as possible, and I hope we’ll also come up with enough to have his personal effects shipped home as well.
I’ve been experiencing a fair amount of cognitive dissonance regarding James’ deportation. I firmly believe that a nation should enforce it’s immigration laws and I have really been frustrated by the USA’s
failure refusal to do so. But here’s the thing, James was not freeloading on the Korean taxpayer’s won. He was making his own way doing menial labor without complaint. Compare that to the folks invading the U.S. who fill the welfare rolls, engage in crime with apparent impunity, and add little to no value to the nation in which they aspire to live. And yes, I know that not every illegal immigrant fits that description (I’m sure the majority do not), but the fact remains they violated the law and should not be rewarded with amnesty. I fucking went through the time consuming and expensive process of making my wife a legal permanent resident and it frosts my balls when non-citizens are allowed to bypass the law. End of rant.
Another friend I’ve known since I got here is leaving next week to become an elementary school teacher in Tucson, Arizona. He ran the dart league for many years and his departure is going to leave a huge void. As is our tradition when a darter leaves town, we’ll be doing a going away tournament in Lonnie’s honor this afternoon at Sin Bin.
The tourney will be dual purposed because one of the owner’s of Sin Bin suffered a massive heart attack while visiting family in Newfoundland last week. He’s been in Korea so long he is no longer covered by the Canadian national health insurance plan. So we’ll be engaging in some fund raising activities for him as well. I’ve had my differences with this individual in the past, but those minor disputes mean nothing when someone is in need of help. I’m donating a bottle of Fireball whiskey as one of the raffle prizes at today’s event. Obviously, I’m hoping he has a full and quick recovery. He’s actually a lucky bastard. When he was found he was apparently clinically dead, but had the good fortune of being discovered by a physician who successfully resuscitated him.
I do find it disconcerting when friends and acquaintances who are much younger and in better shape than me are facing these types of issues. Well, it’s better to be lucky than dead I suppose. Here’s hoping my luck continues to hold out!