FoxNews.com, April 3, 2013
–Article by Ying Ma
The middle-aged woman representing the American Consulate in Guangzhou, China, said something in English. We could not understand, so we turned to her colleague. He looked Chinese and was supposed to be her translator, but he only spoke our language haltingly. My father tried to help with what little English he knew, which consisted of not much more than “how are you” and “thank you.” My brother and I sat quietly and played our part as the well-behaved children of aspiring immigrants to America. My mother looked on nervously.
We lived in China’s third largest city. Chairman Mao had passed away nearly ten years ago but the stench of his failed totalitarian policies was still everywhere. We lived in an apartment that had no running hot water, no refrigerator, no telephone and no modern toilet facilities.
We applied for immigration to the United States soon after China re-opened its economy to the world in the late 1970s. Now, after about four years of waiting, we had finally gotten to “the front of the line.” But on this day, it was not going to be good enough.