Marine Widow's Immigration Bill Passes Congress

December 15, 2010 - 3:19 PM

Nashville, Tenn. (AP) - The Japanese widow of a Tennessee Marine will be able to live in the United States after Congress waived immigration restrictions for her.

The House on Wednesday approved a private relief bill, meaning it only applies to an individual case. The bill grants permanent resident status to Hotaru Ferschke, whose husband, Marine Sgt. Michael Ferschke, died in Iraq in 2008.

The couple married by telephone while she was in Japan and he was in Iraq. She was already pregnant with his child, but he died in combat before they were reunited.

Their marriage was not considered valid under immigration law because the marriage was not consummated.

U.S. Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee pushed the bill for nearly two years. It passed the Senate earlier and goes to the president for approval.