Every country has immigration problems, and the USA has lots of people who do not have “legal papers.” Some of my best friends are former illegal immigrants, who became law-abiding upright citizens. In fact, you could say that all the early migrants to America did not have “legal papers,” and were illegal immigrants, since the locals did not actually invite them to land, formally or informally. We like to say that USA is a land of immigrants, and we could probably also say it is a land of legal and illegal immigrants.
每个国家都有移民的问题，在美国更是有很多人没有“合法文件（身份）”。我的朋友中就有一些以前是非法移民，后来成为遵纪守法的好公民。 实际上，可以说所有来美洲的早期移民都没有“合法文件”， 都是非法移民，因为当地人并没有邀请他们来到这里，不管是正式的还是非正式的。 我们也通常说美国是移民国家，或许我们也可以说它是合法及非法移民的聚居地。
Indeed one of the most active members of our church, and really one of my best friends, came from the southern China city of Fuzhou, illegally. He was only in his teens, and since he was the son of an official, he easily became spoiled and he seemed destined for a life of corruption. However, with help from a “snakehead” (illegal criminal smugglers) he was smuggled into South America, through Central America, and finally landed illegally in New York. He had to go through forced landings on beach strips, run from immigration patrol boats, dash through thorn laden bushes and pull out thorns for hours, and be housed in terribly unsanitary so-called “safe houses,” before finally being dumped on the beaches of New York, one long year after departure from China.
实际上我们教会很积极的一位兄弟，也是我最好的朋友之一，就是从中国南方城市，福州，非法移民过来的。 他那时只有十几岁，还是“官二代”（官员的儿子）， 很快就被宠坏了，似乎注定要要过腐败堕落的生活。然而，在 “蛇头”（违法犯罪走私者）的帮助下，他偷渡到南美洲，通过中美洲，终于在纽约非法定居。 他不得不在沿海迫降，从移民巡逻艇上逃跑，花费数个小时在灌木丛中拔掉荆棘开路，还要忍痛拔出扎在身上的刺，最后被扔在脏兮兮的所谓“安全屋”中， 终于在离开中国后经过漫长的一年，才来到纽约的海滩。
However, one of the greatest things that happened in his life was that he became a believer in Christ in New York, and that changed his whole life. After coming to Cincinnati, he was given an opportunity to manage, and then own a restaurant which became a thriving enterprise, so much so that famous sports figures and politicians loved to come. Today, he is not only a law-abiding citizen, he is a very conscientious supporter of church and society, and a great role model for many, including former illegal immigrants! He is legal in every way and has papers, his passport, and his life to show it.
然而在他的生命中，最大的变化之一就是他在纽约成为一名基督徒， 这改变了他整个生命。 在来到辛辛那提后，他有机会管理，然后拥有一家餐厅，并且生意很好。 这家餐厅很有名，很多运动明星及官员都喜欢光顾。现在，他不仅仅是一名遵纪守法的公民，还是一位对教会及社会活动尽职尽责的支持者， 也是很多，包括以前是非法移民的人的榜样！ 现在他每一个方面都合法，有合法文件，护照，生命也在彰显。
Have you ever thought what would happen if you lose your legal papers, your passport? And if you lose it, who are you? Are you still legal? One year while in London I really lost my passport. Let me tell you, being in a foreign country without legal papers is truly scary. The UK is just as tensed up about immigration as the USA. So I worried a bit about who I suddenly might be, to the authorities. Maybe I might even become considered an illegal immigrant. I had actually arrived in London on a British passport, but I was not UK born, and there was a big difference between being UK born and being born in a “colony,” the then British ruled Hong Kong.
你曾经想过如果你丢了重要的证明身份的文件及护照会发生什么吗？ 如果你丢了这些，那你是谁呢？ 你还合法吗？ 有一年在伦敦的时候我确实丢了护照。告诉你吧，在异国他乡没有合法文件真的太吓人了。 英国的移民政策和美国一样严格。 所以我有些担心在官方看来我一下子会是谁呢。 也许我可能被认为是非法移民。 我手上持有的是英国护照， 但我并没有出生在英国， 在英国出生和在“殖民地”有很大的不同， 香港当时是英国统治。
After landing at the airport, I had made a phone call from a booth, to contact my cousin living in the city. Then, on the bus into town, I suddenly realized that my trusty scarlet business bag was missing, with my passport inside. I instantly recalled that I had placed it in the booth on a ledge next to the phone while I was making the call. I must have left it there! I rushed back and it was gone. I spent the next 7 days calling every one of the nearly 24 police stations of London, since the London police had multiple different jurisdictions, and no simple central system for lost and found articles. Quite a way to learn about police work in a foreign country.
在机场落地后我就从电话亭打了一个电话，联系我住在这个城的表姐。 然后，在去市区的公车上，我忽然意识到我最重要的红色商务包不见了，我的护照就在里面。 我立刻想到打电话的时候把它放在电话旁边的架子上了。 我肯定把它落在那了！ 我冲回去但已经没有了， 接下来的七天我给伦敦24个警察局的几乎每一个都打了电话， 因为伦敦警方有多个不同的司法管辖区，没有简单的中央系统管理失物及招领物品。这可真是在国外了解警察工作的一种方式。
In addition, I raced to the US Embassy to see if I could get a new passport. I had to leave in one week exactly, and with no passport there was no way to travel! And it definitely was not funny to have no passport in a foreign country. When I arrived at the embassy the line was winding all around the embassy and into many street blocks. There were a lot of people trying to immigrate or get a visitor visa to the US, that was for sure. There was no way I could wait that long. I might never actually get into the embassy that day.
In a sudden burst of courage (and chutzpah) I went to the top of the line, talked to the guard, and explained my dire circumstance. He really was sympathetic, and he believed me. I was amused when he said to me, “try to catch the attention of that man that is walking around inside!” Sure enough, there was a man walking around that looked pretty authoritative. I waved frantically at the man, and to my great relief, he actually waved back, and waved me into the building, to explain my circumstance.
After hearing me out, the officer told me it was impossible to finish everything in one week. I urged him to try, and he said, “well, we can give a try. You can come back in one week and let’s hope.” I had to call my wife to fax over my basic information to the London office (this is before emails and Skype!), and she had to go to the immigration office in Cincinnati with some documents, which she did.
听我说完后，工作人员告诉我不可能在一周内完成所有事情。 我央求他试一试， 他说，“好的，我们可以试一下，你一周后回来，希望可以。”我打电话给我的妻子把我的基本信息传真到伦敦办公部门（这时还没有电子邮件和网络电话！）， 她要把文件带去辛辛那提的移民局，她就这样做了。
And one week later, here I was at the US embassy visa applicant line, and I managed again to get to the head of the line, convince the guard, wave at the senior officer again, get in, and find out that my new passport had just arrived. I made my return flight on time, breathing a great sigh of relief. You really aren’t comfortable anywhere without legal papers.
One year, I was in the USSR with my trusty British passport. I had taken the overnight boat from Helsinki, Finland, and arrived in the morning in St. Petersburg. When I walked down the gangplank, the gruff big bodied immigration officer was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He requested I hand over to him my passport, as did everybody else. He would keep the passport until the end of the day when we returned from our daytrip in the city, which would include the famous Hermitage Museum, and beautiful former palaces. I hesitated, but saw no other recourse, and everyone was obeying orders, so I had no real choice but to give him my passport.
So while I was trying to enjoy the visits, at the back of my mind, I kept thinking about my passport. I wasn’t comfortable walking around in a foreign country, without my passport, especially at a time when the country was dictatorial and oppressive. I imagined if some police officer or KGB man picked me up for any or no reason, and I did not have my passport, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out! Did James Bond carry a passport when he was dashing around St Petersburg, I wondered?
As I was thinking about this, I visited the washroom. Sure enough, in James Bond caricature, a Russian man in a heavy grey trench coat walked in. He muttered something to me, like “Dobra Dien, good morning.” But then he flashed his left trench coat wide open, and then his right coat. I am not kidding you, it was like the movies, showing both inner coats lined with flashy Rolex and other watches, row upon row, maybe 100 watches I would guess. He asked me, “would you like buy watches, very good price, US dollars preferred.” You can guess my response.
我正在想这些的时候，去了一趟卫生间。就像在詹姆斯邦德的惊险电影情景里，一个穿着厚厚的，灰色风衣的俄国人走了进来，他对我嘟哝这什么，像是：“Dobra Dien，早上好。”然后忽然敞开大衣的左边，又敞开右边。我不是在开玩笑，就像电影一样，大衣两边内衬里有华丽的劳力士和其他手表，一排接着一排，我猜得有一百个手表。 他问我，“你想买手表吗，非常好的价格，美元优先。”你可以猜到我的反应。
In as calm and yet hurried way possible, I got away from him: was he just a tempter and was he trapping me since he knew I did not have a passport? I will never know, and I did not wait to find out! Hours later when we got back to the boat gangplank, I was obviously very relieved to receive my ID back from the gruff man. You don’t want to be illegal in any country, certainly not this one, especially carrying counterfeit Rolex watches.
在尽可能冷静，但匆忙的方式，我从他旁边走开：他只是在诱惑我还是因为他知道我没有护照在给我设陷阱呢？ 我永远不会知道，我也没有等着找到答案！ 几小时后，当我们回到船上的浮板，把我的证件从那个粗鲁的人那里拿回来的时候，我显然就轻松了许多。 你不想在任何国家没有合法文件，特别不是这个国家，尤其是还戴上假冒的劳力士手表。
Fortunately, we can easily have legal papers for the final step in our life journey. I have never heard the term, but I think you could call that our final passport, we would be legal immigrants there, and no immigration officer can interfere with that. In the good book, it actually says something strange like, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, and knock and it will be opened unto you.” The best passport.
我们是蒙福的，在人生旅程的最后可以很容易的有合法文件。 我以前从未听说过人们这样说，但我认为你可以称它为我们的最终护照，并因此成为合法移民， 不然我们在那就会是非法的， 也没有移民官可以干涉。在这本好书里， 它描述的有点奇怪，“你们祈求，就给你们，寻求就寻见，叩门就开门。”这真是最宝贵的护照，而你只要寻求就可以得到！