Love Endures, But Green Cards In Doubt For Immigrant Widows
A different sort of immigration rally is happenined on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday morning.
It's organized by a Portland lawyer and a cohort of unlucky widows and in-laws. They're chipping away as what has come to be known as the “widow penalty.”
Who can resist a love story? This one begins in a club near a U.S. Army post in Korea. Rosalie Scrabeck had just started working there as a bartender and hostess when a certain soldier caught her eye.
She's describing infantry Sgt. Derek Scrabeck. He hailed from the small Willamette Valley town of Dallas, Oregon. Rosalie is a citizen of the Philippines. Soon they were dating.
To make a long story short, they were married at the American Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. The couple moved to Oregon in December 2007.
The U.S. requires a two-year waiting period before an immigrant spouse can receive permanent residency. That's to weed out sham marriages.
In this case, tragedy struck 20 months into the marriage. Derek drowned when the small fishing boat he was riding in capsized along the Oregon Coast.
The Filipina discovered she was deportable because she's technically no longer married to an American.
It must be incredibly frustraing for the "60 to 70 other such cases in the western U.S." to be told they can be deported this way while watching people who broke the law from the begining being treated like victims.
I've heard of other stories where a legal immigrant makes a mistake on a document and is subsequently deported.
The difference here is intent. Rosalie did not come here illegaly, she intended to make America her home with her American soldier husband. She is an immigrant that we welcome and in this case she is the victim.
Rosalie is not currently breaking our laws by working illegaly and the law should be changed to allow her a green card as she is a true immigrant to the United States, not some greedy lawbreaker who doesn't consider this his or her true home.