Another war widow faces deportation
The latest instance of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stupidity is featured in today's Orlando Sentinel-
Dahianna and Jeffrey Heard often talked of their life after the war as a dream they would live together: buy a house, raise a family, travel abroad.Update- Here is my most recent post on Mrs. Heard
But Jeffrey, a Casselberry contractor for a security company supporting U.S. troops in Iraq, was shot to death this spring during an ambush of his convoy near Fallujah.
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Now his wife, a Venezuela native raising their 1-year-old son, faces possible deportation.
One reason: They hadn't been married long enough. She was three months short of the two years needed to satisfy immigration-law rules.
She is appealing for residency. But if that fails and she must leave, she said their son Bryan may have to grow up in her native country -- despite being a U.S. citizen.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials would not discuss the case.
Upon Jeffrey Heard's death, immigration officials voided her petition for a "green card," a document that would let her reside legally in this country and, eventually, seek citizenship, her attorney said.
Immigration officials also have rejected her request to qualify for legalization as the widow of a U.S. citizen, citing the two-year rule.
"It's an injustice," said a tearful Heard, 35. "We had our home here. We had our baby here. It's an injustice that's being committed, because my husband gave all for this country. He gave all, and now his widow and her son are treated as if they don't belong."
Killed delivering equipment
Jeffrey Heard, a U.S. Army veteran and former National Guardsman, was shot in the head in March. Insurgents intercepted his convoy as it was delivering equipment to troops. He was 42. The Heards would have celebrated their second anniversary in July.
Her attorney, Ralph Pineda, tried to make the case that the two-year time requirement would be "a minuscule technicality" in an unusual case. Pineda argued, in a letter to Orlando's immigration district Director Linda Swacina, that her petition could be reconsidered for humanitarian reasons. Swacina has not yet responded to the latest request.
The two-year widow provision was added in the early 1990s to prevent people in fraudulent marriages from abusing the process.
Dahianna Heard's story sounds very similar to this one from a year ago. It is also the latest example of how Citizenship and Immigration Services have their head up their asses. If they aren't deporting war widows, the agency is keeping foreign born children of US citizens out of the country which ISN'T US LAW. Mrs. Heard's story should invoke outrage while also showing to all the deport the illegals crowd out there that this agency can't be trusted to do what is either right or fair. How they expect thousands of more injustices not to happen is beyond me.
This nation owes Jeffrey Heard one last debt. His wife should be allowed to stay in this country. Anything else is criminal.
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