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Day 14: Watching TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé

October 27, 2014

It all started with tacos. *Side note: Efrem’s been saying he wanted to eat tacos since before arriving here. I’m not sure if he saw something online about tacos on TV or what, but he’s been wanting tacos. From my limited experience in SA, I never came upon any real attempt at Mexican food, and the nachos that I found on one menu were terrible (read, cheese doritos with stuff on top). So, we were trying to figure out what to eat for dinner and I thought, I haven’t had Juan’s in a minute, and maybe it will quell his constant requests for tacos for awhile—granted I know that Juan’s Flying Burrito isn’t actually Mexican cuisine, but hey, it’s a quick place-holder. So I ordered some food that we were going to pick up, and while we were flipping through channels trying to find something to watch, we came across 90 Day Fiancé. Both of us immediately stopped what we were doing and our eyes became glued to the screen. One episode was going off and another was coming on, so being both of the same mind, rushed to pick up our food and rushed back home so we wouldn’t miss more than 5 minutes of it. (This was also the point at which we discovered that we had DVR, as he pushed record to see if it would work and it did!)

So, we’re sitting there eating and watching this show, as they introduce these different couples all going through the K-1 Visa process. And this was, perhaps, the first time I really came to the conclusion that reality TV is NOT real. I mean we all know to some extent that it’s scripted and edited for entertainment value, but this mess just could not be real at all. Given the amount of crazy we are in the middle of going through with this immigration process, the stories of the couples on this show are just not plausible AT ALL. Now these couples could very well be real couples, who really went through this process, but the stories they’re telling and the lives they’re supposedly living absolutely could not be real. Seriously, all the red flags would go up on these couples and they wouldn’t have been granted the initial visa to even step foot on American soil in the first place, let alone be going through all this drama during the 90-day period. People get denied  K-1 visas (frequently) for much less than the  financial/support issues, extreme age and cultural differences, and the questionable authenticity of the relationships portrayed in these episodes. Even if they did get the K1 Visa based on these “stories,” their AOS (adjustment of status) would never work out. Not with these shaky financial situations (lack of employment or underemployment) and supposedly unsupportive family members who would refuse to be the financially responsible party on their behalf.

Both of us sat there, eating our “tacos,” shaking our heads, knowing how contrived these stories  were. But we couldn’t stop watching the train wreck. It’s already difficult enough to explain the K1 process to people who’ve never gone through it, without getting looks of skepticism or overhearing the whispers that the foreign citizen must be deceiving the US citizen (or they’re plotting together) in order to thwart the immigration process and get a green card more easily. This show just makes the stigma of a immigration relationships even worse! Hell, if all I knew about K1 visas was this show, I’d think it was an immigration loophole as well, because in hearing the stories of these unstable people on the show, it looks like USCIS is just giving away visas. (You get a visa! You get a visa!)

Let us both be the first to tell you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And the amount of proof you have to present–the questions you get asked–would blow wide open some of these “stories,” and result in a denial.

But best believe we’ll keep watching the rest of the show just to see the depths these writers will go to to create drama…I guess that’s really the point of these reality shows, though, to keep their ratings high regardless of its believability. *Sigh* We fell for it.

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