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Letters of the Week: January 4 - January 8

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  1. Julián L. Ortuondo's Avatar
    Mr. Kenneth White

    December 31, 2015

    Dear Mr. White:

    This is my last letter for 2015, sent to a folk in the States that will probably have the blessing to be sitting at the table with friends and family at home toasting in the new year.

    It is not my case, since we Argentina Embassy and their arrogant Consuls headed by Susan Abeyta decided that I, a senior American citizen and professor can?t be at home tonight with my woman, children, grandchildren and friends, no explanation whatsoever. Ambassador Mamet plays deaf to my claims. I am temporarily in Argentina and our Embassy here refuses to grant a simple tourist visa to my spouse (under the local city law).

    Your http://www.ilw.com/articles/2011,0408-white.shtm#1 was impeccable, I totally agree with it. It is outrageous how we, American citizens, are mistreated by the dictatorship of our diplomats, with the complicity of some members of the Government in Washington. Nevertheless, there are some of our Congressmen: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-release/chairman-royce-ranking-member-engel-congratulate-president-elect-macri-and-urge-obama that really care about the situation of our Argentina?s Embassy diplomacy and their unacceptable cowboy diplomacy, an aggressive and unprofessional performance of public officers who should be at our service, since they are even paid with our taxes.

    And, it is really MISERABLE that, as you clearly say: ?American image overseas - Consular officers are the face of America, interacting with tens of thousands of individuals every day. For many applicants, it is their first contact with any American citizens. It is critical that the image projected is a positive one? But lest we forget, the Department receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees from visa applicants; it "earns" millions on those it refuses.? This would not only be a lack of respect and an injury to America? image, but it might as well be fraud, stealing peoples? money with abuse of authority. Shame on them. In reality, the Embassy in Buenos Aires takes this stolen money from the poor visa denied applicants to market themselves with grants (Fulbright, etc.), and senior citizen?s taxes for years? to finally deny a tourist visa for their spouses to visit friends and family in our Country, the USA, for the Holidays. Outrageous! I will let all I know here in Argentina about this misery, as I will do at home in the US.

    Please see attached letters. I wish you a Happy New Year at home. Remember this letter and photos attached when the clock strikes 12:00. I think you understand my point and disappointment. I will apologize in the name of the USA to my local friends, my students and my family here (I have my own family in the US), letting them know that our diplomats do not represent the best of our American dream and integrity.
  2. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Contact your congressman in the House of Representatives. As a staff person in that office to go to the State Department Congressional Liaison office in the Rayburn building. It may have moved, but it will be in one of the congressional office buildings. The people in that office can find out why your wife is being denied a visa and do something about it....if it is possible. I don't know why they are refusing to give her the visa. It will take the staff person less than ten minutes to do this.
  3. julianort's Avatar
    Dear Mr. Rappaport:

    Thank you for your note. After my post in ILW, I received an email from the Embassy with "nice words", saying that it was in behalf of Ambassador Mamet. Believe or not, whoever wrote the email refused to identify himself and signed only "JO"... This is my reply to the Emmbassy:


    Buenos Aires, January 7, 2016


    Dear JO (???),

    Thank you for replying on behalf of Mr. Ambassador Noah B. Mamet and the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and the Consular Section.

    However, it is my understanding after many years (40+) as an international professional, that all letters are signed with a name of the person who writes it. I do not see a reason for you to write ?incognito?, unless you forgot to write your name; introducing yourself is a rule of thumb for professionals and even not professionals. Please have the courtesy to let me know who you are, so I know who I am addressing. Thank you.

    I have no wish to get involved in an argument, here. In any case, I hereby attach some of the letters I am sending to Congressmen and other people interested in this matter worldwide, to make my point.

    Now, as per: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/denials.html:

    1. After relevant information is reviewed, the application is approved or denied, based on standards established in U.S. law.
    2. While the vast majority of visa applications are approved (90% for Argentina), U.S. law sets out many standards under which a visa application may be denied.
    3. An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all of the information required.
    4. The applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. An applicant?s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa.
    5. If denied a visa, in most cases the applicant is notified of the section of law which applies. Visa applicants are also advised by the consular officer if they may apply for a waiver of their ineligibility.
    6.And: The applicant is informed verbally and in writing of the reason for denial based on the applicable section(s) of law.

    If you check the videos of the security cameras (in case the young consul does not accept her responsibility for her unlawful behavior), she did not check the paperwork of Mar?a Jael Ord??ez at all (confirmation number AA005J788A). What this public server did was -evidently lacking experience and professional judgement- to deny the simple tourist visa by checking on the computer that Mar?a was denied the visa before, many years ago, for untold reasons, and totally different circumstances. THE CONSUL NEVER CHECKED THE PAPERWORK MAR?A OFFERED AT ALL. This would be simply sentencing Mar?a, my spouse under the Buenos Aires city law, never to go with me, a Senior American Citizen, to my Country, the USA, even for a short vacation to meet with family and friends. Simply ridiculous and cruel. None of the previsions for a visa denial and procedures were fulfilled by the Consul. It was nothing but a capricious decision, an abuse of authority as she mistreated Mar?a, who ended up crying and in an emotional shock, violations of HUMAN RIGHTS. Mar?a does not fall, in any case under 3., 4., or anything like it. And, the Consul did not comply with 5. And 6 and other. It was a dictatorial, unlawful, unprofessional and unfair performance of the public officer of the Embassy. Mar?a does not deserve to be among the 10% of the ?disposable?applicants, while the Embassy unethically keeps her visa high fees for its own benefit. Not fair or acceptable at all.


    Now, after your:

    ?If you wish to convey information to us in support of an application, please send it directly the applicant, who can share it with us during a new interview?We take this opportunity to inform you that the Consular Section cannot review any particular cases by mail. The decision on a visa classification and issuance shall be made by a consular officer during an interview, based upon each applicant's personal circumstances.? I am hereby attaching the Excel with all the documentation Mar?a tried to show to the Consul, just as it is the standard procedure by the law, and I am informing you that she will apply for that NEW INTERVIEW. However, after the aggressive behavior that she has been a victim of by the Consul, I need to accompany her for the interview, making also sure that the officer really reads the documentation, and she communicates professionally and politely with my spouse. I am an American Citizen, the Embassy is in American soil, and I want to enter to the territory of my Country as my passport reads.

    Please forward this letter to Mr. Ambassador Noah B. Mamet. I am also requesting, please, that you clearly identify yourself beyond the J.O. initials, since I will send a copy of this letter to some authorities and international US lawyers who are monitoring this situation (such as:

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?8967-Letters-of-the-Week-January-4-January-8). This letter was selected as the letter of the week.

    Sincerely,


    Julian Ortuondo
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