Friday, January 19, 2007

The Green Card

I got a marriage proposal today.
Not exactly from the person I would ever want to marry, but a proposal at least. It came from my Colombian workmate, Liliana. Yes, a girl. And it also came with the offer of $6.000 upfront if I agree to give one lucky person my citizenship ( lucky?.)

Because I sell insurance to the Spanish-speaking communities all over the United States, I work surrounded by Latin people, and should know better by now. Half of the employees in my department have temporary passports, half of their friends have expired green cards and the other half reside in the country with student Visas. Once, I was doing over time at Allstate, and an officer came up to the building looking for a guy who worked in the sales department, who had received plenty of deportation notifications that he was ignoring. They took him to the immigration police and after that, we heard that he had moved to Canada and was working as a cab driver. My co-worker Sue Ellen received an offer last year, only that it was for $10,000, to marry a lawyer from Ecuador who had a business in this country but lacked the citizenship, and I heard that Melissa kicked up that offer to $ 15.000 once, and was planning to marry a Colombian until the guy got deported before they could make arrangements.

So I don’t even know why I acted surprised today, it’s not like I never get any marriage proposals from Latin people who only want me for my citizenship. This is what Liliana asked me as soon as I sat at my desk today.
“Caro, would you marry my best friend for $6,000?”
“$6,000 is too little. Maybe for $10,000 I’ll do it”
We sat there for a while trying to rise up the offer until I remembered something.
“Nah, I changed my mind. Can’t do it”
“Marrying a guy would totally ruin my reputation as a serious Lesbian. Sorry.”

As I lost my only opportunity of a lifetime to instantly collect $10,000 from the pockets of a really, really desperate Latin guy, we started brainstorming. The plan was to find someone else who would be as smart as me,to instantly accept a marriage proposal from a complete stranger. Donye, my roommate and coworker from Panama, who has a citizenship, happened to walk by:

“ Donye, would you marry Liliana’s friend for $10,000? You wouldn’t even have to live with him”
“Huh,uh, maybe. I kinda need to get a new car, and pay credit card debt. Is he cute?”

We had one potential candidate already, until Elsie passed by. Elsie works in the Service department and is from Nicaragua, but has a citizenship from her first marriage. I figured that, because she had already married once, she wouldn’t mind doing it again, specially for $10,000. (In my opinion, she would probably do it for free too, because she acts really desperate around guys, but I’m just guessing).
“Elsie, would you marry a guy for $10,000?”
“Has he ever been deported before?”
“ Nah.”
“Hell, yeah! Give me his number and I’ll meet up with him this Friday”

So that’s how my only potential husband, whom I know nothing about, ended up becoming Elsie’s new fiancĂ©e, all in less than 20 minutes in the exciting world of illegal, or half-legal, immigrants in the quest for a Green Card.

No comments: