Chapter 3: Forced Migration (3)
However, upon hearing those words, Zhou Wei’an expression changed, and he actually lashed out.
“Nonsense! As a civil servant, I have to be the first to respond to such a matter. How can I go against the immigration policy!”
“But it’s your legal right. If you can use it, why don’t you use it? You might succeed if you try. That way, I won’t have to immigrate and leave…”
Zhou Jing’s tone was somewhat anxious. This concerned his own future, so he could not ignore it.
However, before he could finish, Zhou Wei’an interrupted him with a frown.
“It’s just that ‘in theory’, they can waive immigration quotas. I don’t need to tell you. You should know that whether or not the application can be approved depends not only on the actual family situation, but also on the rank of the position… Those who have the qualifications to pass the exemption application will not be selected, and those who can get forced immigration won’t pass the review. Do you understand the situation here?”
Zhou Jing understood this logic, but he didn’t want to give up. He muttered unwillingly, “But no matter how low the probability is, it’s worth a try…”
Zhou Wei’an slammed his hand down on the table, saying solemnly: “Son, you have always been very sensible, so I’ll be frank with you… Recently, my department has been undergoing a change in personnel. I’ve been rejected twice in my promotions. This time, I finally have enough experience on my resume, and I have a good chance to take a step forward.
“My family has been chosen to take a spot, but I do not take the lead in responding to the immigration policy. What will my leaders and colleagues think of me? I’ve already waited for so many years, and I can’t take the risk now!”
Zhou Jing was stunned. He looked at his father as if he had just met him for the first time.
The Interstellar Joint Government needed to continuously expand, so responding to immigration policies had long been a politically correct move.
If a family had an immigrant member, in addition to official immigration benefits subsidies, there would be many unwritten rules to support them. It was no secret that those who had interstellar immigrants in their families, especially public officials, would be given a certain amount of care and compensation.
As for finding ways to shirk the responsibility of forcing immigration, although he would not be targeted, some benefits would also pass them by.
He finally understood. Zhou Wei’an was worried that it would affect his official career. His father would rather watch him be forced to migrate than try to use his legal rights to protect his family.
If he immigrated himself, then his father’s promotion would not only have a chance, it might even become a certainty.
Zhou Jing understood his father’s hidden meaning, and an indescribable sense of loss welled up in his heart.
Perhaps, Zhou Wei’an did not think that this was bad luck but rather a blessing from the heavens.
There were six children in the family. One of them could migrate to advance their father’s career, accepting the “gift” with a clear conscience.
As such, even though he could have submitted his application and tried to prevent his family from separating, Zhou Wei’an was unwilling to do so. That was the real reason.
The two of them looked at each other, and the air seemed to freeze as they fell into a tense silence.
The mother beside her opened her mouth several times, but she did not know how to interrupt.
As if sensing the stiffness of the atmosphere, the three younger brothers and sisters gradually calmed down, their curious gazes shifting back and forth between Zhou Jing and their father, Zhou Wei’an.
The five-year-old boy’s lips were covered in cake cream. He widened his eyes and looked at Zhou Jing in confusion.
“Third Brother, did Daddy make you unhappy?”
“…Eat your cake. I bought it with your pocket money. If you don’t want it, I’ll eat it.”
“Dream on! I won’t give you a single piece!” The kid hurriedly buried his face in the cake.
Zhou Jing rubbed the back of his little brother’s head and forced a smile.
His younger siblings were still ignorant and did not understand what had happened. Zhou Jing did not intend to explain. It was enough for adults like them to worry about such matters.
Zhou Wei’an coughed and broke the silence.
“This is a mandatory policy. Even if you don’t want to go, the officials will take compulsory measures. Besides, it’s not a bad thing for young people to go out and experience some adventure. Don’t resist.
“Anyway, think about it. You haven’t found a job yet, as long as you immigrate, the government’s welfare will directly assign you a job. It will also save you the trouble of applying to the Higher Education Institutes. Isn’t that good? You don’t have to worry about your livelihood anymore.”
Zhou Jing was silent for a while before he said in a low voice, “I know the immigration benefits are good… but I still want to stay.”
“But that’s not up to you to decide. You have to migrate. I’m not discussing this with you!” Zhou Wei’an rapped his knuckles on the table, his tone sounding a little irritated.
“…Don’t you feel guilty at all?” Zhou Jing couldn’t help but ask.
Zhou Wei’an’s voice increased a notch, “What a joke. What do I have to apologize for? I raised you up, and now you think I owe you? If you don’t go, then who will? Your two older brothers already have a stable future ahead of them, so do you want your mother to go, or do you want me to go?
“Oh, you mean you want to force me to apply for exemption from the Immigration Bureau You want me to give up the promotion that I have been waiting for for so many years? You want me to give up on my career? Don’t be selfish!”
Zhou Jing looked at his father silently.
He didn’t know if he should feel sorry for himself or for his father.
His mother, Zhao Jing, quickly tried to smooth things over. “Alright, alright. Your father is just speaking out of anger.”
Zhou Jing turned around. “Then what do you think?”
“I… sigh.” Zhao Jing’s fingers were tangled together as she continued, “Son, you have to be more optimistic. At least, your father is right. It’s not that we want you to migrate, but it’s the government’s policy… I know that you’ve always care the most about the family, and this is the time that we need you, so…”
“That’s right. Our family needs your help. Brother, just treat it as doing me a favor.” The second brother couldn’t wait to interject. His expression was a little guilty, and his tone was hesitant. “Besides, if you agree to immigrate, maybe my name will be on the scholarship list of the institute…”
“I’m going back to my room!”
Zhou Jing suddenly stood up and strode back to his room, slamming the door behind him.
The family members at the dining table looked at each other, not knowing what to say.
After a moment of silence, they began to converse in low voices.
“Third Brother will agree, right? I don’t want to be pulled into immigration, and my scholarship hasn’t been settled yet…”
“Do you know how to speak? You spoke so crudely. Aren’t you afraid that Thirdie might misunderstand?”
“But he’s the most suitable one. What’s wrong with helping me in return…”
“Third Brother has always been the one who cared the most about the family. He just can’t accept this blow for now. Give him some time and he will agree…”
Amidst the intentionally lowered conversation, the daffodil on the table shook slightly, and a withered flower petal fell.