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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Keeping the US safe from Japanese born housewives

The latest episode of immigration follies

BRADENTON, Fla. — Keith Campbell woke alone on his 47th birthday in May to find little plastic cows scattered all over his front lawn, a whimsical surprise arranged by his wife and two young sons all the way from Japan.

The family spent the day half a world apart because of an immigration dispute that has disrupted their lives for years and culminated in the Japan-born Akiko Campbell’s being barred from the United States after making her home here for almost nine years.

Critics say the Campbells’ case illustrates how making mistakes in navigating the paperwork-heavy and exceedingly complicated process to get visas and permanent residency in the United States can lead to life-changing consequences for foreign spouses of American citizens and their family members.

"It’s kind of a surreal thing," Keith Campbell said recently as he waited to have his daily webcam chat with Akiko, 41, and his two sons, age four and one, who are in Nagano, Japan. "We haven’t done anything wrong."

Immigration officials say Akiko Campbell committed fraud in 1998 when she entered the U.S. with a fiancée visa after she had already gotten married to Keith. She is now prohibited from re-entering the country for 10 years.

Since she left in January, Keith Campbell has spent time furiously writing lawmakers, printing bumper stickers, talking to anyone who would listen, and putting up a website — — to tell their story. The family’s last immediate hope of being reunited on American soil is a hardship waiver, which is still being considered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


The Campbells say that when Akiko’s fiancée visa didn’t arrive before their planned wedding in Hawaii in June 1998, they were told by an official at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to go ahead and get married and apply to change her status after she was settled in the United States.

The bomb was dropped in March 2000, when they went to the immigration office in Tampa for an interview to secure her permanent residency: Akiko wouldn’t be allowed to stay in the country because she had committed fraud.

In the years since, the Campbells have been working with lawyers and filing unsuccessful appeals. Meanwhile, Akiko gave birth to their two sons who, in the eyes of the government, are American citizens.

Good news seemed to come in 2005. They got a letter from the Department of Justice saying their visa petition was approved. But Akiko would have to return to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to get it.

Akiko packed up her two sons for a month-long visit with family in Japan. But when she went to the embassy, the visa was flatly denied, and she was told she couldn’t go back home.
Early this morning the Campbells got some good news.

BRADENTON --It was about 3:50 a.m. Tuesday when Keith Campbell got the call he had been waiting on.

On the other end was his wife of nine years. Akiko had received word from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo she would be allowed to reenter the United States.

After six months in limbo, she and her two sons would be coming home to Bradenton.

"Finally, I can come home!" Akiko wrote in an e-mail. "I called Keith immediately. We cried and shared the joy over the telephone."

The family spoke to each other and celebrated via webcam early Tuesday - Keith from the family home in Bradenton and Akiko with sons Leo and Micah from her native Japan.

"We did it," Keith said later. "What can I say, it's wonderful."

An official with the U.S. State Department could not confirm the news Tuesday, saying the agency does not comment on individual visa cases.
So we have a happy ending, but how much money did the Campbells spend to fight this stupidity by US goverment bureaucrats. This isn't the first Florida family separated by these incompetent fools, read the story of Diana DeGrow and her son Christian. US Immigration stupidity, namely not knowing immigration laws, kept a US citizen Mom and her birth child separated for years. That family also ran up legal bills because ICE wrongly denied Christian a visa. Don't forget the story of Pedro Guzman or The Widow Penalty either.

All of this has happened to legal immigrants and US citizens. It honestly makes me fear for my family. My wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law were all born in The Philippines. They all legally immigrated here and became US citizens. What would happen if they were ever somewhere when an immigration went down? A driver's license is not proof of US citizenship, and a Social Security card can be counterfeited. My wife has her passport and naturalization certificate, but these are never carried around on daily activities. We have them locked up in our safety deposit box.(BTW copying a Naturalization certificate is illegal, before someone someone points why don't we keep a copy) Don't say I'm being paranoid, the fear is real if one has family who immigrated here.

CIS, ICE, and the rest of the bureaucracy that handles US immigration is one big screwup. How many other US citizens are going to be punished by these incompetents till someone is held responsible?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Cao, Leaning Straight Up, Third World County, The World Accroding to Carl,

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