Just Call Me “New Job Julie”

I like to tell people that my job is to write the internet. I’ve been a copywriter/content writer for going on five years now and that gives me ~1500 articles under my belt.

There are a few things that I think you should know about your beloved know-all internet:

  1. Every article you read is paid for by a company or special interest group. Unless you read something from a .gov, .edu., or .org site, the only reason the article exists is because someone like me has been paid to write it. There is always an angle to reach or a product to sell. In other words, it’s all marketing, all the time. These articles aren’t writing themselves and companies aren’t writing these things for no reason. There is always a reason and that reason is you. Either they are selling you a product, or you are the product.
  2. Let’s say a lot of people search for the terms “What is SQL?” and “SQL Servers”. The top few results you get after you press Enter are from articles that have been search-engine-optimized (SEO) enough that Google gives them top spots. That’s always the goal because you’ll click and get exposed to a brand.
  3. The internet is written by ghostwriters. All those top articles are not written by subject experts. They are written by someone like me who doesn’t know a darn thing about SQL servers, but who are just thorough enough (and fast enough) researchers and writers to get the job done efficiently while sounding like an expert. That’s right, even when the article has a name or even an author’s bio with a nice little thumbnail-sized head shot pic next to it, most of the time that person has not written what you just read.
  4. Quotes are ads. Stats are ads. Infographics are ads. They can all be manipulated to guide the reader to think what the sponsor wants them to think.

While I am happy to help companies turn a profit so they can stay in business and keep people earning an income, I’ve been feeling the pull to do something different. That’s why I started searching for a more meaningful, fulfilling writing job…and I found it.

There aren’t many jobs that fit into my lifestyle so I feel extremely blessed to be able to have not one, but two jobs that are perfect for me at this time in my life. I’m not quitting my content writing job yet, just cutting back to make room for this new venture of mine. I couldn’t be more excited. You are looking at a newly minted affidavit writer.

  • af-fi-da-vit /ˌafəˈdāvit/ : a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.

Now, head’s up. This is the point in my post where things get a bit political, and that’s okay. Not everyone needs to have the same opinions. All I ask is that we be empathetic to others, putting ourselves in their shoes and gaining a little perspective from another side.

For whom am I writing affidavits? Illegal aliens. Or, as I like to call them, undocumented citizens. Let me explain.

When a citizen of another country enters the United States illegally, they get an automatic 10-year ban from applying for citizenship. This is in part to discourage illegal crossings. During those ten years, undocumented citizens can’t get a job (unless it’s under the table), go to college, get a loan, etc. They are also always at risk of being deported. In the mean time, these men and women settle into their new lives, oftentimes marry a citizen, and have children. This is when the thought of deportation begins to really become a huge fear to them. The thought of having to leave their spouse and children here and moving back to their home country is a devastating one. The stress of it causes them to seek a “waiver” so they can gain legal residency in the United States and be safe from deportation. In other words, they are seeking to obtain a green card but since they entered illegally, the process can be risky as they are outing themselves.

To get a waiver, an undocumented citizen hires an immigration attorney who files the application which is about 2-inches thick with documentation such as:

  • Evidence
  • Background Checks
  • Financial Records
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Employment Status
  • Physiological Evaluations
  • Etc.

One document included is the affidavit, which is my piece of the puzzle. I write why being deported would cause “Extreme Hardship” for the illegal applicant’s family (who are legal U.S. citizens). Then, I write why moving the family of U.S. citizens to the illegal applicant’s home country with them would also cause “Extreme Hardship.”

This ends up being an 8-page document covering everything from the point of view of the family. This includes:

  • Financial Hardship
  • Mental Hardship
  • Physical Hardship (health and safety)
  • Educational Hardship

Each affidavit is extremely personal and goes into many details of their life. I find it an honor to write their story and explain why it is a benefit to all of us to have these wonderful, everyday people remain a part of our community…and why sending them elsewhere doesn’t benefit anybody.

I understand that some of you may not like the idea of helping to legalize someone who “Entered Without Inspection” and that’s fine. I just hope you have a valid reason for feeling that way and not a reason that is born out of prejudice or fear. If it’s based on things you’ve read online or heard on tv, please refer back to points number 1,3, and 4 above.

The truth is that living in the United States is a true blessing. Oftentimes, people are fleeing heavy violence, staggering poverty, and a life without any sort of fulfillment. Being stingy with our blessing is pointless.

When I got the job 6 weeks ago, one thing I was so excited about was that I’d be working for an all-female, work-from-home-mom company. My boss and I were chatting and agree on something significant:

Give a woman an uninterrupted 2 hours and she can change the world.

The other thing I’m really excited about, of course, is doing more meaningful work. Instead, I get to be a tiny part of keeping families together in a safe, stable, sanitary home with ready access to world-class healthcare and education.

Like I said, I feel honored.

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