I wrote a post two days about about the birth of Michael Ferschke III. Little Mikey as his family calls him, is the son of a Marine who died while serving in Iraq last summer.
Since the death of her Marine husband, Hotaru Ferschke has been running into immigration problems. At first she wanted a visa to come to the United States to give birth to her son. The US consulate turned her down, incorrectly citing what they called the two-year rule.
The Marine Corps, Robin and Michael Ferschke Sr. Hota’s in-laws, and three members of Congress went to bat for the mother. Hotaru was granted a visa, but the mother decided to have her child in Japan. Which is her right, and we should respect.(As did Robin Ferschke, Michael Jr’s mother) Hotaru’s ultimate goal is to raise her American son in the United States.
I’ve been in contact with a member of the Ferschke family, her name is Irene. She twice commented on posts of mine here. Hotaru’s I-130 Immigrant Relative petition was turned down by US officials in Japan. Why?
Right now, the Ferschkes are planning to make a two-week visit to Japan and return to the states with Hota and the baby on a temporary visa.
However, she says the family is facing a new challenge when it comes to permanent residency.
She says a 1952 law is the problem. According to her, the law does not permit citizenship for Hota, because she did not consummate the marriage, given that the two married by proxy, and Sgt. Ferschke was killed before they reunited.
Robin Ferschke says she is working with lawmakers to change the rules to allow Hota and Mikey to stay.
The law exists. A marriage must be consummated for relative to be allowed to legally immigrate to the United States.
Unfortunately Michael Fershke gave his life for his country and others before he had time to consummate his love for Hotaru. From Stars and Stripes–
Gunnery Sgt. Robert J. Blanton may have received a Silver Star on Thursday, but no one was worried about the honor going to his head.
And Blanton remembers Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., a team leader killed during the fight.
“If Sgt. Ferschke hadn’t done what he did, I’m pretty sure others would have lost their lives,” Blanton said, as he described how Ferschke entered the building to draw the fire of about 10 insurgents, allowing the rest of his team to enter the room and return fire.
“He did something more heroic, meaningful than what I did,” Blanton said. “I just capitalized on an opportunity.”
And how does this country reward Michael Ferschke’s heroism? By denying his wife, and mother to his son immigrant status to his country. That is how we support the troops? This is a SICKENING OUTRAGE.
There is at least one Wizbang commenter who I suspect thinks this travesty is just fine. I’ll get around to Wild Willie in a minute.
We’re punishing Hotaru because her husband never got around to consummating their marriage by proxy. Why is that? He was serving in Iraq and was killed in action a month after he and Hotaru tied the knot.
There is a law that should cover Hotaru Ferschke. It is called the Armed Forces Naturalization Act of 2003. It reads in part–
(4) SURVIVING ALIEN SPOUSES, CHILDREN, AND PARENTS OF CITIZENS WHO DIE WHILE ON ACTIVE-DUTY SERVICE IN ARMED FORCES-
`(A) BENEFITS FOR SURVIVORS-
`(i) IN GENERAL- The benefits under this paragraph shall apply only to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a person who, while a citizen of the United States, died during a period of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by such service.
`(ii) DETERMINATIONS- The executive department under which the citizen so served shall determine whether the citizen satisfied the requirements of clause (i).
`(B) SPOUSES- Notwithstanding the second sentence of subsection (b)(2)(A)(i), a person who is a surviving spouse described in subparagraph (A), and who was living in marital union with the citizen described in such subparagraph at the time of death, shall be considered, for purposes of subsection (b), to remain an immediate relative after the date of the citizen’s death, but only until the date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
Consulate officials are sticking to the letter of the 1952 law and reading the 2003 in the strictest possible way. Was it Congress intent to penalize people like Hotaru Ferschke just because her husband died in action before their marriage was consummated?
As someone who has petitioned a member of their family to be allowed to immigrate, I’m fully acquainted with the attitude of Immigration and Embassy workers. It’s this- A immigrant relative is guilty till proven innocent. Legal immigrants are made to jump through so many hoops, and if everything isn’t just right, they will be denied.
Now for Wild Willie. He wrote in a comment to my post Tuesday night-
Bill, move on. Thanks. ww
Why should I move on? I wrote Willie twice asking for him to elaborate on what he means. He hasn’t written back but has found time to comment on other posts. So I’ll take a shot at what I think Wild Willie meant.
That it is perfectly all right to deny Hotaru Ferschke immigrant status. The United States can’t have more of those dastardly immigrants. We got twenty million illegals here, we can’t have more legal or illegal. So its perfectly fine to say no to Hotaru. Bill move on.
Wild Willie will never come out and say this. Afraid to be portrayed as racist or xenophobic. I expect he’ll defend himself in the comments section. Why did he tell me to move on in reply to my post? I think my theory is perfectly reasonable. As I pointed out in this post some months back, the anti-immigrant views of at least one Wizbang commenter are formed from racism.
Support the troops and oppose immigration legal and otherwise. Two views that when they come into conflict, have some show their real colors. And It isn’t the flag waving support the troops stance that they so often criticize others from deviating from when they’re willing to throw it overboard themselves. Just so they can make some useless point.
Supporting the troops means supporting the families of those left behind after a soldier falls serving this country. That includes Michael Ferschke III and his mother Hotaru. Otherwise the often used expression by those on the right- ‘Honoring Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for their Country’ comes out sounding very hollow.
I’m not going to move on. As long as abuses from the widow penalty, to the deportation of a person born in the United States, to the denial of medical care for someone in deportation proceedings take place, I’ll write about them. Fucking up innocent people’s lives, or even helping send someone to an early grave isn’t the way a government is supposed to work.