January 21, 2008

FROM VISHNU TO VISA:

The Passion to be Americans (Thomas C. Reeves, 1/21/08, HNN)

While leftists rail against the United States for allegedly being racist, imperialist, capitalist, Christian, homophobic, and worse, people from all across the world urgently desire to come here, many wishing to become American citizens. Everyone knows about the daredevil and sometimes fatal efforts that take place every day on the Mexican border. We may have as many as 20 or 30 million illegal immigrants from a single country. Now comes a story from India about the “Visa God” and the passion of educated Indians to arrive on our shores legally.

Hyderabad, a city of 7 million, is a fast growing center of technology. Microsoft, Dell, and similar companies are on hand, and thousands of educated young people are eager to be recruited by these giant Western corporations. This had led to a cultural shift in which many young locals are now wearing jeans and T-shirts and hanging out in local malls and coffee shops, looking as closely as possible like their much-envied counterparts in America. The obstacle preventing their immigration is the difficulty in obtaining the employer-sponsored “H-1B” visas. Only some 65,000 are granted annually, and in the past fiscal year there were more than 65,000 applications in a single day.

A local Hindu priest decided to exploit the frustration. His once quiet Chilkur Balaji temple invites people to pray to Lord Balaji, one of the local incarnations of the Hindu Lord Vishnu, calling him “the Visa God.” Through prayer and the ritual of walking around the temple eleven times, the head priest assures people that they will obtain a visa from the United States. It has worked for some, and the temple is now drawing 100,000 visitors a week.


Every immigrant should be required to have a visa and there should be no limit on the number of visas issued. You can cull the merely racist from the law-and-order types on the immigration issue by whether they agree with that rule or not.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2008 7:49 AM
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