Friday, August 21, 2009

US Immigration Form - Moral Turpitude

A visiter to the US was stunned by this question in the immigration form, "Have you been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude"?

He could not understand the term "moral turpitude". What is covered under this definition?

Like most people, he was focusing on the wrong matter. He need not worry about the word "moral turpitude". He only need to focus on the word "convicted".

Has he been convicted in court? If he has not been convicted in court, and that applies to more than 95% of the population, he can answer "no" to the question without feeling any sense of uneasiness.

If he had been convicted in court, he would have known what the offence was. Most likely, it would have been a traffic offence, or littering or other type of minor offence. If it was involving "moral turpitude", he would have been told, and it would have been a more serious offence.

Lesson: Think out of the box. Do not focus on the wrong things. Do not focus on the difficult matter, when you can focus on the easy matter.

Quote from Dr. Goh Keng Swee
Dr. Goh Keng Swee, who was a former Deputy Prime Minister, economist and the architect of Singapore's economic development once said, "You do not need to describe an elephant. You will know that it is an elephant when it charges straight at you".

1 comment:

  1. anyway, here is the definition
    1 : an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community
    2 : a quality of dishonesty or other immorality that is determined by a court to be present in the commission of a criminal offense


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