Bruce Sterling and Jasmina Tesanovic have run into a little trouble with the US immigration people. Because they are "internet people," their marriage has not left the kind of paper-trail that the authorities like to see, and now Jasmina is under threat of deportation. But there's a solution: if you've spent any time with Bruce and Jasmina since their marriage, you can swear out an affidavit to that effect and send it to Bruce before April 15, and save their asses. Bruce doesn't mention it, but other friends of mine who've been through the same thing have benefited from the production of photos of them together, like these two that I took, so you might send those on to Bruce, too.
Surprising news has just arrived for us at our American home address. Although we have been married for four years now, the American Immigration services can't find any paper trail for the two of us.
We have no joint bank account, no insurance accounts and no joint children. The authorities therefore suspect that our marriage is a phony "Green Card marriage," and they would like to have Jasmina deported from the USA.
This is not too entirely surprising a mistake, since we're an Internet couple. By our nature, we just don't generate much paper.
We use electronic banking. Bruce uses American banks, while Jasmina uses Serbian banks. Why would anyone want to make his or her alien spouse use an American or Serbian bank?
There's no reason for us to jointly speculate in American real-estate, since we each already own places to live. No sane European would ever want American health insurance. And so forth.
Like a lot of geek couples, we live out of our cellphones and laptops. Furniture, wedding china, massive home improvement loans: we don't even go there. We have a light material footprint that'll generally fit onto a couple of rollaboards.
We're nevertheless a genuine married couple. Any reasonable Internet person would recognize this fact in two minutes…
We must therefore implore your help. Have you ever witnessed the two of us hanging around together? Were you convinced that we're the real deal, spouse-wise? Do you have solemn, impressive, legal-looking letterhead? For instance, are you some kind of American federal agent yourself? Lord knows we know some.
If so, then, please — write us a testament to that effect. It's meant for the American authorities, and will be using your own letterhead. Please tell them we are, indeed, a "bona fide marriage." You are talking to the "UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES" in Vermont, USA. Our lawyer will see to it that they get it.