A recent case reported by Fox News shows the problems in our immigration code when it comes to families. Hota Ferschke met her husband, Marine Sgt. Michael Ferschke, on Okinawa. The two fell in love and he proposed to her before being deployed to Iraq. While in Iraq, he found out she was pregnant with his child, and the two decided to rush the marriage so that he would know his wife and child were cared for. So he married her over the phone.
So far, the story is romantic and joyful. However, Sgt. Ferschke died in Iraq. His son, Mikey, will never get to see Dad. His wife will have to raise his child without him. And the US government, which Sgt. Ferschke died while serving, has put roadblocks in the way of his grieving widow.
Instead of helping this war widow come to America where she desires to raise her child with the help of her deceased husband's family, according to Sgt. Ferschke's mother, the immigration department has deemed that she cannot do so. While the Defense Department has recognized the family and has paid death benefits, the Department of Homeland Security refuses to do so. Now the Senate is considering a law that will allow Ms. Ferschke to join her in-laws.
This is a tragic story, and one that should never have happened. It shows the flaws in our immigration policy. On the one hand, we have a porous border and several million illegal immigrants. Indeed, should Ms. Ferschke have desired to break the law, she could probably have come across the border and be living in the states already. However, for law-abiding people, our immigration system often fails.
This is particularly tragic when families are broken apart. I remember a few years ago the case of a good friend of mine whose wife was from Chile. She and her husband had been married for 5 years, but due to immigration law, the only way she could legally stay in this country was if she went back to Chile and lived apart from her husband for 2 years while re-applying for admission. Recently, a friend of mine whose wife is from Argentina is going through similar hassles, and just a few months ago, my cousin, who is from India and who received a PhD from Rutgers in biology, had to go back to India when his visa expired, even though his wife and daughter are legal residents of the US.
At some point we need to fix our immigration system. We need to enforce our borders, certainly, but we also need to make the system more sensible for people like Hota Ferschke and the many others who obey our immigration laws but nevertheless suffer.
For more on Ms. Ferschke's story, check out the article at Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/17/family-marine-awaits-decision-immigration-blunder/#ixzz15e2Ske58