For Better Or Worse

The television news magazine show 60 minutes will be doing a feature on a favorite subject of mine. ‘The Widow Penalty

Foreigners who marry Americans are entitled to become permanent residents of the U.S., but in a stricter post-9/11 world, hundreds of widows are being asked to leave the country because their husbands died – even some whose children were born in the U.S. Bob Simon reports.

I got a quibble with the above description. First I’ll remind readers exactly what The Widow Penalty is.

There is an obscure quirk in US Immigration law known as The Widow Penalty. Legal alien spouses of US citizens who are in the process of gaining permanent residency in the United States. Their spouse dies before their petition is completed, and now they face deportation.

If you want to understand this bit of immigration stupidity better, I suggest you read my Wizbang post from last December at the link above.

Now for my quibble. The show description implies that this policy is something that only began after 9-11. That is wrong by a mile. The original administrative decision which set the standard for deporting widows, is actually 38 years old. The matter of Varela. In that case the widow of a US Navy sailor was deported. Today in spite of laws meant to eliminate such travesties, immigration and consulate officials continue to throw roadblocks in the way of widows of servicemembers who died for this country. Now Hotaru Ferschke was granted a visa, but through a private email I’ve heard she is running into difficulty still.(Irene Cooper or anyone in the Ferschke family if you read this, leave a comment with your email address. I’d like to know more and point out where you can get Hota help) It’s sick and disgraceful and so is The Widow Penalty.

Americans are Not Helpless
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