Robin Ferschke of Tennessee pleaded with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to pass a bill that would allow her widowed Japanese daughter-in-law and grandson to enter into the U.S.
The bill is currently pending because some senators are concerned that the wording of the bill is too general and if passed would allow too many immigration safeguards to be removed that do not apply to the case. Ferschke’s daughter-in-law, Hota, married Marine Sgt. Michael Ferschke approximately one month before he was killed on duty in Iraq. The wedding was by proxy- Michael was in Iraq and Hota in Japan. Since their marriage is not recognized under a Cold War-era immigration law, she cannot move to Tennessee with Robin to raise her son like she had promised Michael.
The bill at hand would add a provision into immigration law that would allow, “exemption for couples who are unable to consummate their marriage because one of them was on active duty in the armed forces.” The bill cleared the House smoothly with support from both Democrats and Republicans but due to some senators concerns, the process has slowed. In order to approve the bill in the Senate and pass the bill quickly so the family can be reunited more detailed language that specifically applies to the issue is being added to the bill.