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Fighting for Hota: Family Remains in Limbo, Even as Faulty Immigration Law Corrected

by Mahwish Khan on 10/22/2009 at 11:10am

Some of us first heard of Hota Ferschke, a Japanese widow of American soldier, Sergeant Michael Ferschke, at the immigration reform rally held here in Washington DC, last Tuesday, October 13.

Her story was one of many heart-wrenching examples of our nation’s broken immigration system – something she and her mother-in-law, Robin Ferschke, have been fighting hard to fix.

The backstory?

It’s a love story, interrupted…Hota and Sergeant Michael Ferschke were married while the Sergeant was stationed in Iraq. At the time, Hota had just learned that she was pregnant with Michael’s child, adorable “little Mikee” pictured to the right.  However, because they were married by “paper proxy,” and not in person, a 1950’s-era immigration law would not recognize the couple’s marriage. As Hota’s mother in law, Robin Ferschke, explains it:

The 1952 law says they have to consummate after marriage in order for her [Hota] to be married in the United States. They couldn’t consummate because my son never came back.

Sergeant Fershke tragically died in uniform, shortly after he and Hota were married.

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