Maybe the NYT will include some Orquesta Kef CDs in their segregated shopping guide,
A change in immigration rules that is affecting performers (among them traveling tango instructors and performers):
Send Us Your Tired, Your Poor, But Only if They’re ‘Culturally Unique’
Immigration Caseworker AA0089 Has Some Thoughts About What Is Art
When Jordan Peimer booked an Argentine band that fuses Jewish Klezmer music with tango, he thought he had the perfect act to headline his “Fiesta Hanukkah” concert.
“It is hard to imagine any band more fitting than Orquesta Kef,” says Mr. Peimer, the program’s director at the Skirball Cultural Center here. The event was designed to attract a Jewish audience and the city’s burgeoning Hispanic community.
That was before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services weighed in with some cultural commentary of its own. The band couldn’t travel to the U.S., the agency ruled, because it didn’t satisfy a “culturally unique” requirement for a performer visa called P-3.
“The evidence repeatedly suggests the group performs a hybrid or fusion style of music…[which] cannot be considered culturally unique to one particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe or other group of persons,” read the denial. It was signed by caseworker CSC4672/WS24533.
What the heck more unique do you need to get to meet some bureaucrat’s arbitrary criteria? Does it depend on the volume of trade with the country of origin, say China? Or do you need to have a particular skin tone and a politically fashionable religion in order to get a performing visa?
Mr. Peimer was incensed. “How more culturally specific can you get than Jewish music of Latin America?” he asked. After Mr. Peimer did some venting on his Facebook page, a reader quipped that this is the era of “ethnomusicalsecurity.”
Outrageous as this is, considering how many illegal aliens (yes, illegal aliens) are playing fake Peruvian music on the corners of major US cities, or pseudo-mariachi bands in Mexican restaurants across the South West, what makes it worse is that the entrepeneurs, empresarios, non-profits and performers have to dish out huge amounts of money to appeal the bureaucrats’ decisions:
All told, the visa endeavor cost the nonprofit organization more than $10,000, it says.
Just when you think US immigration policy couldn’t get more irrational, they have topped themselves.