I went to the Irving Drivers License office to renew my license. First I filled up a form, showed the lady all the required documents and she said, “Everything is fine, wait to be called.” It seemed to be a busy day there and I understand the work pressure. I waited patiently for one hour for my number to be called. Finally it was my turn. I stood in line1 for another good 10 minutes.
As I approach the service counter, this elderly AMERICAN lady at the counter asks me, “What are you here for?” I said, “I’m here to renew my license.” Then she says “License?… or are you here to renew your Temporary Visitor’s Card”. This is where her attitude starts, apparently now we are not supposed to call it a license, which is not a big deal for me as long as I can drive.
She says, “Show me all the documents.” I showed her a faxed “letter of recognition” from my college, my I-20 and my passport. She looks at the letter from the University and says, “This is in Garland, what are you doing in Irving.” I said, “My university is in Garland and I live in Irving, there’s my my address on the letter.”
She gives me a cold look and says, “I know where you live” then she looks at the letter and says, “you are only taking 6 credits, you are not even a full time student, I cannot accept this letter.”
I explained to her that our university has a quarter-semester system and I am allowed to take 6 hours being a graduate student. Then she says, “I cannot accept this letter because it’s an email.” I told her, “It’s not an email, it’s a fax.”
Then she goes on saying, “This is not an original copy, you could have made it yourself.” I replied, “There is a phone number of the university on the letter itself, you can call the university and verify.” She says “I cannot call the University, it’s your job to bring the paperwork”.
For another 10 minutes she tells me how people come in with fake papers and say they are students but do not even go to school. She adds, “You want me to give you a driver’s license for one year relying on the papers that do not look real”.
I showed her my original I-20 which has the international advisor’s signature that matches the signature on the letter of recognition. She tells me, “You could have forge that”. She says “People do that all the time.” She made me listen to her complains about foreigners for another 15 minutes. And finally she says, “Well, I will do you a favor this time and give you the license.” I was shocked to hear what she was telling me, so I said, “OK”, and she says, “Sign here..” and hands me a yellow card.
As I am about to sign she tells me, “ You know what, I do not feel like doing you a favor.” I asked her what she wants me to do, she says “Go and bring original papers” and I simply left.
The way she was yelling, I felt like everybody was staring at me, I could not wait to get out of the office.
My time was wasted, I was accused of trying to show false papers, and I was humiliated.
I have some questions which might not be very pleasing yet I have to ask them.
1. How can a Government office hire someone so illiterate, who does not know what a fax or an email looks like? She did not know how many credit a graduate student can take, she knows nothing about the university system. She was even unable to compare the signatures.
2. If The department of public safety wants to confirm if the international student is going to school or not, why don’t they simply call and verify with the University, instead of humiliating a legal F1 student in the office?
3. If the fax copy was not good enough – why was I not told in the first place? Why was I made to wait for one hour? Then why could the officer simply not tell me it’s not good enough and that I have to bring the original copy instead of lecturing me for 20 minutes? What gives her the right to accuse me and humiliate me in front of all the people?
Just because I am brown, it does not mean I am illegal or I am a terrorist.
USA claims to be the most civilized and the greatest country in the world and yet cannot educate its own people well enough to know human beings all around the world are still as human as American citizens are.
The American people (who feel Godly of themselves for being born in America) need to go out of their own country and know more about other countries just so they can broaden their general knowledge.
Well, if you, people at DPS office, do not even know a quarter-semester university and the graduate level credit requirements in your own state, how can I expect you to know anything about the outside world.
After living in United States for 8 years and being a LEGAL STUDENT all this time, I have realized that no matter how many years pass by, no matter how many great people sacrifice their lives, America will always remain a racist country. If Americans hate foreigners so much, you should speak with your government and stop any kind of foreigners in this land, period. There is no point inviting foreigners as students or tourists just to hate and treat them like they are nothing while portraying Americans as above-all-people. As an international student, I have paid an international tuition which was and is way above what American citizens pay. So NO! your country or your government is not doing me any favor just by renewing my driver’s license, or letting me stay in this country. I am paying for everything.
It is interesting how American people think that foreigners like to come and live in America, take their jobs, take place in their country and blah blah, Which is true, in many cases. People do come here looking for a better lifestyle, better opportunity, better education. That is what I came here for too.
After being here for all these years, I have realized how shallow this country is! How nicely you welcome foreigners and when they get here, how miserably you treat them! For the people who hates foreigners I hope this will make you feel better – I regret coming to your country.
But since the damage is done, all I want to do is complete my studies. I guess I am very much thankful to the United States of America for letting me stay here all this time (which now seems like it had been a big deal) and I am so glad I was not born American, or else I would still be figuring out the difference between an email and a fax.
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