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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Widow not married long enough to stay in U.S.

The Associated Press is reporting that a widowed Jamaican Woman who lost her husband in a Staten Island ferry crash in 2003 cannot stay in the United States. The reason the appeals court gave is that she and her husband weren’t married long enough.

Osserritta Robinson, 31, of Mahwah, N.J., is reported by the Associated Press as,

“one of about 170 immigrants who have been denied residency status because of what some call the "widow penalty" a U.S. law that requires an immigrant to be married for two years to remain in the country if the American spouse dies.”
Before her husband's death, Louis Robinson had filed citizenship papers on behalf of his wife. However, because of a government bureaucratic backlog, they were never processed.

Robinson's attorney, Jeffrey Feinbloom, had this to say about the court's decision:

"These people are victims. They've already been through the ultimate tragedy. They're just being re-victimized."
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has asked her staff to review the issue and others involving non-citizen spouses.

To read more on this story and get a copy of the court ruling, link here

US appeals court nixes widow's immigration bid



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