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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on July 4th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Senate “Frowned Upon” Bill to Give Hotaru Ferschke Permanent Residency

» by in: US Military

Here is an update on the Hotaru Ferschke case that just continues to be an example of all that is wrong with US immigration:

Robin Ferschke is looking forward to her grandson’s visit with excitement — and dread.

She’s eager to hug her slain Marine son’s boy for the first time in seven months when he arrives in Maryville, Tenn., on Friday with his Okinawan mother, Hotaru, for a weeklong visit.

But she dreads when Hotaru and 17-month old Mikey, named after his father who was killed in Iraq two years ago, must return to Okinawa.

Hotaru has been denied U.S. residency because her marriage to Marine Sgt. Michael Ferschke was not consummated after they married. They wed over the telephone in July 2008, just a month before he was killed while conducting door-to-door searches in a town north of Baghdad.

Mikey, who is a U.S. citizen by birth, was born five months later.

“I’m afraid we might never be able to go ahead with our plans to have them move here and raise Mikey where his father grew up,” Robin Ferschke said. “The bills introduced in Congress have stalled and there’s not much hope the law will be changed soon.”

Current law is designed to guard against weddings of convenience used to obtain U.S. residency for foreigners bypassing strict immigration rules. Proxy marriages are not valid unless they are consummated after the vows have been exchanged.

Michael Ferschke, then 22, a radio operator with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, met Hotaru, 24, on Camp Schwab in March 2007. When Hotaru discovered she was pregnant in May 2008, just a month after Michael deployed to Iraq, they decided to marry over the phone.

Hotaru flew back to Maryville for her husband’s funeral and was so touched by the outpouring of love from her new in-laws that she decided to raise their son there.

She was able to stay with the Ferschkes for almost a year after Mikey was born, but was forced to return to Okinawa when her visa ran out.  [Stars & Stripes]

Read the rest at the link, but the Senate is refusing to do anything about this even though a private bill to exempt Hotaru was introduced.  However, according to a Senate spokesman such private bills are “frowned upon”.  The Senate may not have time to help Hotaru and her deceased husband’s family, but how much you want to bet that they will find time this year to try and pass a massive amnesty bill for people who illegally entered the country while continuing to punish someone like Hotaru who is trying to receive residency the legal way?

Think about that this 4th July.

Also kudos to Stars & Stripes for continuing to follow this story because the mainstream media rather highlight sob stories of illegal immigrant criminals instead of a widow of a US Marine killed in Iraq trying to gain residency in the US.

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  • Leon LaPorte
    10:52 am on July 4th, 2010 1

    Is she receiving benefits? You quite often see these "heart warming" stories of military members getting married on the phone or VTC. I guess this throws the legality of all those marriages in some doubt?

    As far as the US government worrying about whether a marriage was consummated or not. Well, I leave that there, you can all make your own jokes. But shouldn't it at least in theory be possible to have a platonic marriage? After what hole you stick things in, if any, shouldn't really be their concern. They don't seem to be worried about illegal gays…

    …and as far as the senate. TheDemoRepublitards who run that… Ah hell. It's the 4th of July. I'll save the vitriol for later.

  • Teadrinker
    12:46 pm on July 4th, 2010 2

    I wouldn't pay much attention to those who "frown upon" this one. They just don't want anything on the books that could be seen as accepting reality, which is that most people have sex before marriage.

  • Geo
    1:14 pm on July 4th, 2010 3

    I have been following this story since the beginning and I am simply unable to comprehend what is happening.

    The child is a US citizen, by blood, whose father died in the line of duty. There is absolutely no doubt as to the boy's parentage. Arguably his being bi-racial in a mono racial society like Japan is going to hurt him down the road, where as his being in America with his follow citizens will be of benefit to him. His grandparents are willing to take him and his mother in until they can survive on their own(invalidating any argument of welfare fraud)

    Other than petty sadism and racism is there any reason this has gone on as long as it has?

  • Tom Langley
    1:53 pm on July 4th, 2010 4

    Surely a DNA test could put to rest any doubts as to paternity. This whole matter is a disgrace. If American citizenship is being held up as a hostage for an illegal alien amnesty bill then those members of congress should be impeached in my opinion. I want to know what SOB's are 'frowning upon' American citizenship for these dependents of an American who made the ultimate sacrifice. This kind of $hit just makes me want to puke.

  • Glans
    2:21 pm on July 4th, 2010 5

    This is the first time I've seen a picture of Hotaru. She is really beautiful, and Mikey is cute. Good luck to them!

  • Reddog245
    12:29 am on July 5th, 2010 6

    The grand parents should arrange to sneak her into the US illegally. She'll be a citizen within the year, maybe faster if she promises to vote democrat in November.

  • Teadrinker
    3:57 am on July 5th, 2010 7

    #4,

    I really believe some people see this as a threat to their religious ideology (people who believe marriage and sex is to make kids and that premarital sex is sin).

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:53 am on July 5th, 2010 8

    #6 I think you're on to something. Let her over stay and wait for the amnesty that we all know is coming.

  • kushibo
    11:50 am on July 5th, 2010 9

    The problem is not that the son is being denied US citizenship (he isn't, as far as I've read), but that the widow is being denied residency.

    This is one of the issues about which there is a big disconnect for many people (particularly over the issue born-on-US-soil citizenship for children of illegals, or anyone who is not a US citizen or green card holder): being the parent of an under-21 American citizen affords you no rights of residency in the United States.

  • kushibo
    11:51 am on July 5th, 2010 10

    Leon LaPorte wrote:

    #6 I think you’re on to something. Let her over stay and wait for the amnesty that we all know is coming.

    Have you read the proposals? She wouldn't qualify for citizenship-track residency under the major proposals, I believe.

  • Dan
    12:45 pm on July 5th, 2010 11

    "Arguably his being bi-racial in a mono racial society like Japan is going to hurt him down the road, where as his being in America with his follow citizens will be of benefit to him."

    I like how you simultaneously got some Japan bashing in there while fitting in some Jingoism about how the American way of life is better than everyone else's.

    Did you ever consider that there will be challenges for him growing up in either society, but that on the balance he will have all the advantages of an affluent first world country either way?

  • Leon LaPorte
    1:22 pm on July 5th, 2010 12

    Dan, are you saying that biracial Japanese children have no problems?

  • Dan
    1:37 pm on July 5th, 2010 13

    Do biracial children have no problems in America?

    Every society has issues with being mean to those perceived as "outsiders" and the US is not immune to it. The post I was responding to is indicative of it. It's painting Japan with this broad brush of Japan being this mean monoracial society that's going to hold this kid back, unlike us totally tolerant Americans who would never stoop so low as to be caught treating outsiders differently.

    I guarantee you, if this kid grows up in the US, he'll be called "chink" on numerous occasions in his life, people will make jokes about how unwell "endowed" he is, and he'll have people assume he's good at math and stuff (whether he is or not) just because he is half Asian.

    This doesn't mean America is evil, it just means people are prone to stupid behavior, Japanese, American, or otherwise.

  • Dan
    1:45 pm on July 5th, 2010 14

    I mean look at what this whole issue is about in the first place:

    It's AMERICA's ridiculous immigration policy that is to blame in the first place. We're oh so tolerant and all about the melting pot, yet we have ridiculous laws like this, because we're terrified that those brown people from the South will overrun us.

    Glass houses, stones.

  • guitarbill
    2:44 pm on July 5th, 2010 15

    Dan ~

    The main difference is that in America – bi-racial or not – he'll be treated as just another American. However, he will never be accepted as a normal member in Japanese society.

    The stigma of being of mixed blood in America has largely gone away in the last generation or two. That isn't the case in Japan.

  • kushibo
    3:00 pm on July 5th, 2010 16

    Guitarbill, I think you are missing Dan's point. It's not so much that he will be stigmatized for being mixed, but rather, he will be given crap from time for being Asian.

    Visible minorities do not enjoy so-called "racial transparency" in any society, including the United States, and that may be more problematic than a lot of Americans realize.

    I don't know much about how typical Okinawans feel about mixed-race Okinawans in their midst (and that's who we're talking about, not mainland Japanese), but I have no knowledge that it's particularly worse than how many Whites in Tennessee feel about Asians in their midst.

  • Dan
    3:20 pm on July 5th, 2010 17

    Exactly.

    Plus, my impression of Japan being ultra xenophobic seems to me to be not only a phenomenon that is wildly blown out of proportion by western media, but a phenomenon that is fading anyway with the younger generation.

    Main point though, I think it would be great if this kid's mother could bring him to the US so he can see his dad's side of the family, but if that can't happen, I don't think it's going to be the end of the world for this kid.

    It's not like he has to live in some third world country, or a country where human rights are viewed as a joke.

  • Glans
    6:04 pm on July 5th, 2010 18

    I have asked my son several times, and he says nobody bothers him about being biracial. He is, he considers himself, and he is accepted as 100% American.

  • bogopogo
    6:11 pm on July 5th, 2010 19

    So, let me get this straight.

    If an illegal alien crosses our southern border into the US – and has a child – that child gains US citizenship, presumably, the children's parents get to stay with the child in the US, because breaking them up would be bad.

    Now, we have a child born to a US service member, who then marries the child's mother – and because he hasn't "consummated" the marriage (even though they have a child together) she is not able to gain citizenship – and even better – she's NOT allowed to stay in the US?

    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like she'd be better off to go down to Mexico, illegally cross the border, and then go visit her inlaws and stay there.

    Guess this is what she gets for following the law.

    On the issue before the Senate. I believe what they frown on is the practice of making a bill/law for 1 person.

  • kushibo
    6:26 pm on July 5th, 2010 20

    Glans, what's at issue is not whether your son or those of a similar background think of themselves as American, but how they are treated by others. You say your son says he has no problems, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. It depends a lot on location and the conspicuousness of the non-White side of the equation.

    bogopogo wrote:

    presumably, the children’s parents get to stay with the child in the US, because breaking them up would be bad.

    That may be an inaccurate presumption.

  • Teadrinker
    7:18 pm on July 5th, 2010 21

    #19,

    Blame interest groups, in this case the ones who want to define marriage as a religious union for the purpose of procreation.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:04 pm on July 5th, 2010 22

    #21 I know it's kind of arguing semantics, but I would blame religions (or the religious). The interest groups are just a symptom of the disease. :|

  • Sonagi
    12:34 am on July 6th, 2010 23

    "This is one of the issues about which there is a big disconnect for many people (particularly over the issue born-on-US-soil citizenship for children of illegals, or anyone who is not a US citizen or green card holder): being the parent of an under-21 American citizen affords you no rights of residency in the United States."

    Nor should it. There is no disconnect. Virtually all US-born children of two foreign nationals are eligible for citizenship in their parents' home countries. US-born children of parents without legal residency enjoy US citizenship only because of a generous interpretation of the 14th Amendment. Back in the 90s Ireland revised its laws to give residency to parents of Irish-born children, and guess what happened? Women without papers elsewhere in the EU flocked to Ireland to give birth, straining Ireland's social safety net. The government rescinded its law and now recognizes citizenship only of children born to at least one citizen parent, like other EU countries.

    As evidenced by lawsuits from parents facing deportation, bestowing US citizenship on children born to parents without legal residency creates a sense of entitlement: I bore a US citizen child, so now you can't enforce your laws and deport me! Any fertile person can have sex and make a baby. Don't see why this entitles one to residency rights.

  • kushibo
    12:58 am on July 6th, 2010 24

    Sonagi wrote:

    Nor should it.

    I don't believe I was making the argument it should.

    There is no disconnect.

    Indeed there is, as one can see from the comments just a few above mine. Much of the argument against "generous interpretation" of the 14th Amendment stems from a notion that those alien mothers (and fathers) who give birth to a US citizen have somehow gained legal status in doing so.

    Were that true I would know of several mothers of US citizens who gave birth while living in the US for several years or more on student visas or dependent visas who are now back in Korea with their US citizen children who had lived in the US until the age of three, four, or even seven.

  • Sonagi
    1:06 am on July 6th, 2010 25

    You're right. There is a disconnect, or incoherence, in recognizing citizenship of children born to non-resident parents, including those here on tourist or student visas.

  • kushibo
    3:42 am on July 6th, 2010 26

    Sonagi, you're bringing up something that is immaterial to the case, or at least immaterial the point I made.

    Do you not see above that several of the commenters above, like many Americans who with strong opinions on the issue of illegal immigration, incorrectly believe that an illegal alien giving birth to a child on US soil ends up entitling that illegal alien to some form of residency rights?

    A child born in the US to whomever has done nothing wrong and nothing illegal. Having to provide services for that child is a symptom of the problem of people coming into the country illegally for economic reasons, which would continue irrespective of the US-born child's citizenship.

    What you call a "generous interpretation" of a fairly straightforward amendment means that we, the United States, don't create a perpetual underclass that lives in the shadows, something that would be bad for every citizen and resident of the US.

    If illegal immigration truly is a problem (and I believe that it is), then we need to effectively scare people off from the workplace, not hospitals and schools. If you do the former successfully, the latter problems will solve themselves or at least become far more manageable.

  • Sonagi
    4:28 am on July 6th, 2010 27

    "Do you not see above that several of the commenters above, like many Americans who with strong opinions on the issue of illegal immigration, incorrectly believe that an illegal alien giving birth to a child on US soil ends up entitling that illegal alien to some form of residency rights?"

    Try turning on your sarcasm meter and rereading those comments. The disconnect for many commenters here is that millions of undocumented residents continue to live in the US unlawfully while Hotaru abides by the law and remains in Japan.

    "What you call a “generous interpretation” of a fairly straightforward amendment means that we, the United States, don’t create a perpetual underclass that lives in the shadows, something that would be bad for every citizen and resident of the US."

    A perpetual underclass already exists, and it includes 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation US citizens. There are and will be undocumented residents who grew up or are growing up here. Birthright citizenship doesn't help them one bit, but immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for children raised here would remedy that problem for everyone regardless of place of birth. As long as the US remains a wealthy country accessible to foreign visitors, people will keep coming or staying illegally. Any viable immigration reform needs to take that reality into account.

  • Glans
    10:23 am on July 6th, 2010 28

    It would be hard to amend the 14th amendment, so maybe we should select judges who will legislate from the bench, uh, I mean, interpret the original intent of the amendment, which was to make freedmen citizens. Since the freedmen are all in heaven now, this clause of the amendment is no longer effective.

  • kushibo
    12:46 pm on July 6th, 2010 29

    Sonagi wrote:

    Try turning on your sarcasm meter and rereading those comments. The disconnect for many commenters here is that millions of undocumented residents continue to live in the US unlawfully while Hotaru abides by the law and remains in Japan.

    The notion that Mrs Ferschke should sneak in across the border is obviously sarcasm, but statements like the one above that a US born child's parents "get to stay with the child in the US, because breaking them up would be bad" sounds like it was meant seriously.

    But even if no commenter here actually believe(d) that to be the case, I know plenty of other people who do, and that is the disconnect I'm referring to. On testy and controversial matters, we're doing a disservice if we don't have our facts straight. (In some ways it reminds me of White supporters of the California proposition to end affirmative action who voted in favor of it because they incorrectly believed that Asian students were overrunning the University of California system because of affirmative action, when in fact eliminating affirmative action reduced the number of Whites in favor of Asian students.)

  • kushibo
    12:48 pm on July 6th, 2010 30

    Sonagi wrote:

    A perpetual underclass already exists, and it includes 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation US citizens.

    Yes, and imagine how much more difficult their plight would be, and how many more people would be sharing their plight, if those second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation US residents had to constantly look over their shoulder because of their illegal status.

  • kushibo
    12:58 pm on July 6th, 2010 31

    Glans, what part of the Fourteenth Amendment refers to "freedmen"?

    Given that the US had annexed a third of Mexico, was trying to assimilate Indians who were not on reservations, and had Chinese immigrants in its western states and territories, I don't see how the actual wording or the original intent of "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" could refer only to freedmen Blacks.

  • Sonagi
    1:01 pm on July 6th, 2010 32

    "statements like the one above that a US born child’s parents “get to stay with the child in the US, because breaking them up would be bad” sounds like it was meant seriously."

    I interpreted the remark as a reference to an argument commonly made by those opposed to deporting parents of US citizen children. Perhaps the commenter can clarify.

    "Yes, and imagine how much more difficult their plight would be, and how many more people would be sharing their plight, if those second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation US residents had to constantly look over their shoulder because of their illegal status."

    We already had one amnesty in the 80s and it looks like we will have another one soon since presidents from both parties have proposed one, so multiple generations of undocumented families isn't a concern.

  • John
    10:35 am on July 12th, 2010 33

    She should move back to Japan. Its safer, cleaner and more welcoming than the US.

  • Glans
    11:53 am on July 12th, 2010 34

    Kushibo 31, what clause in the Constitution permits the existence of the State of West Virginia, or of the Air Force? Where does it guarantee a right to privacy, or an individual right to keep and bear arms? I'm saying we need judges to get creative and do what's necessary.

 

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