NICK BERTKE CHALLENGES US IMMIGRATION - Nick Bertke, known as Pogo, is an Australian music man who creates original pieces of music by breaking down and then splicing together and re-mixing bits and pieces of sound from film or video games. His unique talent has served him well and he is now known by his stage name, “Pogo.” During his September 2011 US tour, Bertke was arrested, taken into custody for three weeks and then deported because he lacked a work visa while he was visiting and clearly working. He is now prohibited from re-entering the United States for a period of 10 years which has prompted him to make the video plea above.
Hmmm. Is Nick Bertke being treated unfairly by the United States Immigration… or was the United States taken advantage of by Nick Bertke?
Illegal immigration is a hot topic for the US right now, and although Bertke’s deportation took place over a year ago, he was here and working without proper documentation. If you are not familiar with a visa waiver, it is obtained through the Visa Waiver Program and allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa, for stays of 90 days or less for business, tourism, visiting or pleasure. Contrary to a work visa, you are not permitted to earn money when visiting the country on a visa waiver.
As a businessman from a foreign country who has visited other countries, Bertke must have been aware of what a work permit/visa is and by all appearances, it seems he tried to dodge the system and just happened to get caught during this particular visit. Perhaps he heard that the US is soft on illegal immigrant activity, not the most organized when it comes to keeping track of foreigners or their paperwork and figured it was worth the risk to try and make a few bucks under the radar, tax free.
By the way, did you report your American income to your homeland, Australia?
The Ghan Remix:
Bertke admits to being in America on more than one occasion for speaking engagements and even as a guest of YouTube using only a Visa Waiver. If this was an oversight on someone’s part, it is a shame that Bertke himself did not question the paperwork needed for entering the US. Having traveled internationally to places like India, Southeast Asia and Africa, Bertke or whoever made his travel arrangements, would have had experience dealing with the politics and visiting requirements mandated by each country.
To plead innocence is not an admission of guilt or even apologizing that a mistake was made on his part but rather says that he wants to be forgiven for trying to get away with not respecting our laws or his fans. Not going to happen Mr.Bertke.
I for one do not feel bad for you. While I appreciate your genius and enjoy your musical compilations, I do not agree with a work ethic that insists on breaking the law to accomplish your personal goals. You have been posting on YouTube since 2007 and obviously are a well-traveled young man. If you are not responsible for setting up your own engagements and lodging needs, then you need to replace whoever is accountable. Consider yourself fortunate that you were caught in the US, another country may not have been as kind in their treatment or punishment.
Wishery -Disney Remix:
However, with that being said, I do feel that a 10 year ban is too long and almost borders on being ridiculous. I would have rather seen you pay a hefty fine, be banned for two years and then have the correct paperwork to return to the US and your fans. About your three week incarceration, that was just and fair since it probably took that amount of time to arrange for your deportation.
I understand your desire to contest the 10 year ban but really, man up and quit your childish whining. Take care of your personal business quietly, and if it cannot be changed , then bite the bullet and deal with it. You are still posting videos on YouTube, visiting other countries; with the correct visas I hope and making money. This glitch hasn’t slowed you down and although we won’t be seeing your sunny face in person anytime soon, we still have access to your musical creations.
Now what I want to know is why do we have illegal immigrants in detention centers for as long as five years when we have just seen that deportation can be completed in three weeks?