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Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 16:00
by Eyes High
So the military recognizes the marriage but the immigration officials will not. They will let illegals stay...no problem, but for someone who tried to do it 'somewhat' right....forget it.

This is what gets my goat about our immigration laws. :evil:

Here's the link to where I read the story:
http://news.aol.com/article/marines-wid ... ?icid=main

Marine's Widow in Immigration Limbo
By KRISTIN M. HALL, AP

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 17) — Hotaru Ferschke just wants to raise her 8-month-old son in his grandparents' Tennessee home, surrounded by photos and memories of the father he'll never meet: a Marine who died in combat a month after marrying her from thousands of miles away.

Sgt. Michael Ferschke was killed in Iraq in 2008, leaving his widow and infant son, both Japanese citizens, in immigration limbo: A 1950s legal standard meant to curb marriage fraud means U.S. authorities do not recognize the marriage, even though the military does.

Ferschke and his bride had been together in Japan for more than a year, and she was pregnant when he deployed. They married by signing their names on separate continents and did not have a chance to meet again in person after the wedding, which a 57-year-old immigration law requires for the union to be considered consummated.
"She is being denied because they are saying her marriage is not valid because it was not consummated — despite the fact that they have a child together," said Brent Renison, an immigration lawyer in Oregon who has advised the family.

Hotaru Ferschke and the baby, Michael "Mikey" Ferschke III, are staying for now on a temporary visa at the home of her parents-in-law, in the Smoky Mountains town of Maryville. Robin and Michael Ferschke Sr., who are fighting for their daughter-in-law to stay, have emblazoned their son's picture on everything from a blanket draped on the back of the couch to a waving banner on the fence outside.
The 22-year-old Marine radio operator met the young Japanese woman at a party while he was stationed in Okinawa. Though neither knew much of the other's language, something clicked.

"He called me after they met and he goes, 'Mom, I am in love,'" Robin Ferschke said.
The couple were together about 13 months before he left for Iraq in April 2008. He had proposed and they were trying to conceive a baby before he deployed, Hotaru Ferschke said.

About two weeks after he left, she found she was pregnant. He wanted to get married quickly so she could start getting health benefits as the spouse of an American soldier, she said.

They agreed on a proxy wedding, which has a long history in the military and in some other cases where bride and groom can't be in the same place for a ceremony.
Procedures for a proxy marriage vary by country. Some take place by phone while others require a proxy to physically stand in for the absent partner during a ceremony.
Japan doesn't require a wedding ceremony, and couples getting married only have to complete sworn affidavits proving they are legally free to marry and register at a Japanese municipal government office, according to the U.S. Embassy. Hotaru Ferschke said she and her husband got their proxy marriage simply by completing the paperwork and their marriage was final on July 10, one month before he was shot during a house search.

The U.S. military recognizes proxy marriages for couples separated by war and helps facilitate them. The Marines are paying survivor benefits to Ferschke and her baby.
Proxy marriages are legal in at least four U.S. states. One of the most famous proxy weddings in recent history was that between Ekaterina Dmitriev in Texas to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko in 2003 as he was floating in the international space station.

Pregnant and alone in Japan, Ferschke tried to apply for permanent residency in the United States and was denied.

Kenneth Sherman, a field office director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services who handled the Ferschke case, declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about it. In a letter to the widow, Sherman said he believed that U.S. law required the denial, although he found the situation "personally distressing."

"You have already sacrificed so much for your country and your soon-to-be born son has lost a father," Sherman wrote.

Renison, who advocates for foreign spouses of American citizens, said the widow ran into a complicated and confusing set of immigration rules regarding marriage to foreigners.

The Immigration & Nationality Act says that, for the purposes of immigration law, the definition of spouse does not include a "wife or husband by reason of any marriage ceremony where the contracting parties thereto are not physically present in the presence of each other, unless the marriage shall have been consummated."
A number of immigration laws passed in the 1940s made it easier for brides of American GIs to immigrate, but a consummation requirement passed in 1952 for proxy weddings was designed to curb marriage fraud. "It's supposed to prevent people from marrying somebody they are not really intending to have a life with. The law essentially requires them to have met after the marriage," said Margaret Stock, a lawyer who assists military families through the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

"What's odd about this case is that it appears the consummation part of the law was already met, but it was prior to the marriage."
There's no mention of consummation prior to the wedding in the statute, which Renison considers outdated and in need of reform.
"Well, 1952 was a different time," Renison said. "And back then, I'm sure they considered having sexual intercourse out of wedlock to be just fornication."

Historian Nancy Cott, who wrote a book called "Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation," said proxy marriages have been commonly used by Japanese and Korean immigrants to America. But Cott said U.S immigration authorities have never liked this type of marriage "because it is inconsistent with Western Christian ideas of how marriage takes place."

The Ferschke family is hoping a private bill introduced by U.S. Rep. John Duncan this summer will allow Hotaru to stay in the U.S., but each setback has become a reminder of their loss. A private bill affects the case of just one person, rather than changing the law as a whole.

"We still have a hard time accepting this," Robin Ferschke said. "We're trying to go forward, celebrate his life, but then every time we turn around we get a constant reminder."

The private bill was referred to a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in July but will likely need a Senate co-sponsor to move forward. With Congress facing a massive health care reform package as it goes back into session this month, there may not be enough time to get the legislation passed before Hotaru Ferschke leaves in January.

"She's like my daughter," Robin Ferschke said. "I know my child chose the perfect wife and mother of his child."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-09-17 05:40:36

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 16:05
by E. LeGuille
Goes to show the priorities when it comes to U.S. Immigration policy. I'd much rather have this issue taken care of, instead of Health Care Reform....

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 16:26
by A Thing of Eternity
This is obviously a case where a judge needs to just step in and over rule the laws based on judgement. What foolishness. :(

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 18:41
by Mandy
E. LeGuille wrote:Goes to show the priorities when it comes to U.S. Immigration policy. I'd much rather have this issue taken care of, instead of Health Care Reform....


What? You'd rather one person's problems be solved than millions? It's not like she's going to be killed if she has to go back to Japan.

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 19:33
by Omphalos
E. LeGuille wrote:Goes to show the priorities when it comes to U.S. Immigration policy. I'd much rather have this issue taken care of, instead of Health Care Reform....


I don't get this at all either.

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 19:51
by Eyes High
I thought he was talking about the whole immigration issue, not jsut this one case.

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 20:18
by E. LeGuille
I am talking about the whole immigration issue. As it affects more millions than health care does. I don't see how it was taken to mean anything else, but that's just me. Illegal immigration due to immigration policy affects more than just the individuals that immigrate legally and illegally. Of those who are illegals, many commit murders in the name of an illegal drug cartel run through Mexico. I think it affects more people, and I think it's more important.

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 23:04
by SandRider
non-issue, non-story.

eyes, for your own amusement, make an effort to follow this story, update what you can
find here. This will take a while to resolve, and the end will be the woman & baby will get
full citizenship, whether thru a federal judge, or some politician stepping in for the press.

If the latter happens, there may be some coverage, if a judge handles it, it probably won't
get reported. point is - the story is specifically designed to rile up a right-wing, pro-military,
anti-mexican demographic. I'll say that when this issue is in fact resolved in favor of the
wife, there will be ZERO reporting of it, certainly not from the AP.

Maryville, Tennessee, (pronounced Marr-ville, two syllables) is a small town just to the south
of Knoxville - perhaps a local paper will follow-up.

for the record, I support total, immediate and complete amnesty for all "illegal aliens"
currently in this country, with Mexicans getting front-of-the-line treatment. I also support
retroactive Social Security benefits for those who can prove employment in the US, and I'd
be real loose-and-fast with the "proof" requirements. (These SS benefits will be financed by
taxing the shit out of the employers of these 'illegals', who profited for years by paying these
human beings sub-standard wages and employing them in dangerous conditions without benefits
of any kind.)(or just flat-out confiscating all their assets, anyway, and jailing them all for slavery.)

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 18 Sep 2009 10:13
by Drunken Idaho
Consummation?! Really? What is this, the middle ages?

It's a really sad story. Amazing that things like this can happen all because of immigration laws that never anticipated a situation like this. Clearly the work of the Bureau of Sabotage.

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 18 Sep 2009 10:47
by chanilover
She should get Joanna Lumley on her case. The way she shamed our appalling left wing crapfest government into finally giving the right to residency in the UK to ex-gurkhas was brilliant. A similar issue, gurkhas who had fought for the UK were denied residency while the leftie retards were letting all manner of trash into the UK to help boost Labour's client voting block of dole and benefits spongers.

You can read more about this issue here if you like.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009 ... nna-lumley

Re: Wife of slain soldier denied permanent Visa for US

Posted: 18 Sep 2009 11:39
by Omphalos
Drunken Idaho wrote:Consummation?! Really? What is this, the middle ages?

It's a really sad story. Amazing that things like this can happen all because of immigration laws that never anticipated a situation like this. Clearly the work of the Bureau of Sabotage.


Failure of consummation is a basis for termination of marriage in many states still. In this case its an anti fraud provision, so its unlikely to be done away with.