Chiara Townley

Chiara Townley

Contributor

I do believe that FREEDOM is the most important human right.

The first time I had to deal with the U.S border, as a girlfriend of an American, I realized that my love feeling was seen as a potential threat for the country. You can find the description of the episode in my first book “2 Years 4 Months 2 Hours”. The short recap is that, being in love with an American, made me a potential “criminal” willing to stay in the country illegally. I will never forget the treatment I received. The U.S. immigration laws impacted my personal freedom and my relationship.

Photograph via Daryan Shamkhali

Even after I got married, I didn’t feel welcome. My husband and I had to get a lawyer to help us with the tough Green Card process and we had to appear in front of a judge with the power to decide our future. I’m aware that scam marriages are a dirty business in the U.S., but I believe that, if the U.S had a better immigration system, scam marriages wouldn’t be an issue. The only thing I know is that I do NOT want to pay the price of the broken immigration system. But I did. For years I had the sensation that I was temporary, I always had just foot in the country.

“One Foot In” is the documentary I have been working on, in collaboration with filmmaker Enrica Cavalli.

The idea came from the stories of expat women that I met during the years I spent in San Francisco. Many of them followed their partner that was working or studying, but they weren’t allowed to work. I started see a gender bias in the immigration laws.

I researched more info and found out that more of 70% of the H1B go to men, and as a consequence, the majority of partners are women. That idea took me the conclusion that the gender bias in the immigration laws happened in different situations, tied to each other. Dependent wives, female students, foreign mums of American citizens and expat women entrepreneurs were all part of the same issue: immigrant women are NOT considered in the U.S. immigration policy.

For the first time after publishing my first book, I considered the idea of writing a second one about the challenges expat women face when building a life in the U.S. When I met Enrica Cavalli, filmmaker, she told me that the topic was interesting and she offered to help me raise awareness with a documentary.

Photograph via Daryan Shamkhali

Calling for a change in the immigration laws is my cause. What’s yours? I know that there are wars and kids dying every day, which is way more important than immigration issues. If each one of us decided to fight for a cause, even little, the world could be a better place. Have you ever thought about it?

This post aims to tell you more about the project I’m raising funds for and it also wants to make you consider the idea of finding your cause.

Check out the trailer of the documentary and if you like it help us finish the project and spread the word.

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More About Chiara Townley: Chiara Townley was born in Milan, Italy in 1984. She has always had a passion for foreign languages and travel. She lived in 4 countries to date and she likes defining herself as a citizen of the world. Chiara became an author to inspire and empower. She believes that travel is a passion that can take us to different paths in life – a vehicle to open new horizons. Her motto is: “Fairy tales exist and it depends on us to make them happen.” You can learn more about Chiara at chiarabtownley.com.