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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A simple win - Marine's wife and kid to get citizenship

Once in a while you get to win one. Sometimes you win because of your own actions and sometimes it is through the work of others.

But it is still a win.

A previous story on the Jolly Rogers reported the plight of Hotaru Ferschke and her young son. Her husband, Sgt. Michael Ferschke died in combat but due to an outdated law, his wife and son were to be denied citizenship. The Sergeant’s final wish was that his son be allowed to grow up in his hometown.

No one was listening – no one was doing anything, except for U.S. Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee. Duncan introduced a private bill into Congress this summer, which would have allowed Hotaru and her baby to stay in Tennessee.

Thanks to Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), that is going to happen. The three announced today they would sponsor a private bill to match the House effort.

The military recognized the marriage, but the outdated immigration law meant that the United States would not. All that has changed due to the efforts of these lawmakers.

“Every now and then, there comes an issue that tells us a lot about who we are, and how we live up to our promised, great and small,” said Senator Webb today in a speech on the Senate floor. “And particularly the promises we make to those who step forward and place their lives on the line in order to carry out the policies that we create.”

A press release today by Senator Webb reads in part, “Senator Webb’s bill would allow Mrs. Hotaru Ferschke, who is currently here under a tourist visa, permanent residency in the U.S., a right granted to all military widows.”

Hotaru and 8-month-old, Michael “Mikey” Ferschke III, are living at the Tennessee home of Sgt. Ferschke’s parents “surrounded by photos and memories of the father Mikey will never meet,” reads the release.

“The targeted legislation will have no impact on broader immigration policies. It will allow immigration authorities to recognize the Ferschkes’ lawful marriage and, according to Senator Webb, ‘right a wrong for a Marine’s family who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.’”

If you read this article, you should get on the websites of the congressmen listed here, and send a thank you for this. This is one thing they've done right.

Finally, one thing.

We all win.

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