The Immigration Trial of Tarjei Straume


In 1969, I spent six months in prison for cannabis offenses in Norway. In the 1970īs I had to get special permission, a "waiver of grounds of excludability," each time I entered the United States.

Between 1976 and 1988, i.e. for twelve and a half years, I lived in America illegally. Not even president Reaganīs temporary immigration reform bill could prevent me from being forced to move back to Norway - after a total continuous absence of 18 years.

In 1989, when I was still endeavoring to find a legal way out, I communicated my dilemma to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo by clothing it in a play. There was nothing they could do to help me, because the federal statutes ban me for life from ever obtaining a green card, but the play was so popular that the employees at the embassy handed out roles and played it among themselves even before it was completed. (The second act was sent to them later - everything in handwriting at the time.)

Thus the play is perhaps somewhat dated, a cultural piece of history frozen in time (1989). But here it is:

The Immigration Trial of Tarjei Straume