Eight years of many sleepless nights, tears, and $90,000…these were the ingredients chosen to create a perfect little green card! Except, that such “perfect little green card” did not have to be processed in such long years with such hefty sum. My dad, who had worked so hard to get all our paperwork in to obtain our permanent residence had simply fell constant victim to Korean immigration con-artists. Each time we had to watch helplessly as over $5,000.00 was being taken out of my parents’ hard-earned money, I wondered what we could have possibly done wrong to deserve this. My dad, as a day laborer in jobber market and my mom, as a sales clerk in a children’s clothes store, were only working so hard to sustain ourselves.
Quite shamefully, Korean immigrant community is notorious for its sheer number of incidences of immigration scams. Among all frauds, naturalization scam occurs most frequently due to many anxious undocumented immigrants wanting to legalize their status and receive the benefits they need for survival in the U.S. My family too, was not an exception. With no one to guide us, we depended heavily upon my dad’s own judgment, which often got us into deep trouble as his tendency to open up and trust people easily made him an easy target for those heartless con-artists. Nothing hurt my family, open and trusting of others by nature, more than the very people who initially approached us as “friends” or “extended-family” with smiling faces and momentary kindness only to take advantage of our ignorance.
While I admit that it was worth getting the “perfect little green card” even at such a devastating cost, I feel like I should not let my story go to waste; perhaps it can serve as a forewarning to many other innocent folks. I also want to fight back…in the legal scene. I want to find ways to exterminate all scammers so that no other family has to endure the nightmarish experience we had to go through. And that is why I want to continue my studies to become a lawyer who will actually fight back to protect her client.
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