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Japanese widow, son of Marine closer to immigrating to U.S.

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marrying by phone?? how do you do that?

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Good for her. This has taken way too long. I hope the Senate is not anal about this and fast tracks it.

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jason6 at 03:49 PM JST - 4th December marrying by phone?? how do you do that?

It's actually more complicated. Lot's of paperwork, including a "power of attorney" and a witness on each side. There are agencies that deal specifically with this proccess. IIRC, she doesn't have family in Japan much anymore and felt it better to stay with his family for support. Her case was big news at first when they were trying to get married because of the law. It's very sad and somewhat ironic that now after all that, he has been killed.

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Another bill was also passed but didn't get as much press:

Separately, the Senate normalized the immigration status of Shigeru Yamada, a California resident in his late 20s who entered the United States as a child. He lost legal status in 1995 when his mother was killed in a car accident.

Yamada was arrested in California after a routine stop and faced deportation to Japan, where he has no family and does not speak the language, according to Representative Bob Filner, a California Democrat who has worked on the case for years.

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A complete waste of tax payers money. Married by phone. You've got to be kidding me.

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A complete waste of tax payers money. Married by phone. You've got to be kidding me.

Apparently you don't know much about the case. They didn't know each other only over Skype or something. Theuy had a real relationship and were really married. It's ludicrous the US Government has blocked this for so long.

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i guess if you can marry by phone then you can divorce by phone too..."hi honey,guess what?.."

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A complete waste of tax payers money. Married by phone. You've got to be kidding me.

Yeah buddy, because having a priest marry them or having the ceremony in a church would make it more legit. Get a grip.

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Married by phone, wow !!!!! How can you explain that to your teenager in how you married dad ? By phone ??? Wow !!! She probably should look for another guy after the papers clear.

I hope she can learn English and get a job. Single mom is rough in america.

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Getting married over the phone is more legit than by one of those notorious fake priests that abound in Japan.

Good luck to her in gaining US citizenship with her son, I hope their life turns out well.

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lol, good one dude...

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From what I've read of the case, most people would have no problem with her and her son living in the US. The boy's American grandparents want to help look after him. Reducing this to some sham "phone" marriage shows ignorance of the facts.

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i want to see her and her son with her sons grandparents. there is not better place for her to be. lets get this done now!!! quit dragging your feet america.

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It is hard to tell if some comments are out of ignorance or by a sincere desire to be under the boot of authority.

For starters, marriage by proxy is hundreds of years old. Use of the telephone would seem to be an improvement.

Second, obviously this marriage was consumated, just not in the prescribed order. And who comes with that order and why should they care? Marriage is between two people, not a couple, a government and a church. If they make the decision to marry, they are married. Everyone else is just looking for proof of sincerity, and that is all the little rules are designed to do. So I say good riddance to bad garbage concerning old immigration rule. Obviously, this couple was sincere.

Of course some people just love the form of the rules, for whatever lowly reason, and have not reached a high enough level to contemplate the spirit of the rules.

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Everything is possible as the law has always bent backward to accomodate soldiers.

One very good example is - Soldier can make a privilege Will without the need of satisfying the requirements of the making of Will.

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Wedding by phone? How about Wedding night by Skype?? Hahaha...

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Well..this looks like the right thing will finally be done....

Disgrace really...they have a child...he is serving in Iraq and asks her to marry...they do so by phone and some people have a problem with this. Tell me..you think he could just leave a war zone during active combat and marry her? Of course not. So he did the best he could. Honor him and his wishes - and I am not even American.

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getting married over the phone-- well, apparently some people on this thread don't know the background of the story and why this girl and the Marine guy who was killed Iraq had to do this. He tried to give her and the unborn child all the benefit the military could give them by getting married and they only found out she was pregnant after he left for Iraq.

How can you explain that to your teenager in how you married dad ? By phone ??? Wow !!!

she can certainly explain the whole thing to her son and can be proud, and she can tell the child that it was the father's love that made him decide to get married over the phone rather than waiting to return from Iraq.. Ever imagine being in the military and being deployed, far from your loved ones? He wanted to give every benefit she and the unborn would get by getting married.

Anyone think this couple WANTED to get married over the phone? Anyone think they would have wanted to be together and get married while holding hands and celebrate with hugs and kisses? They had a good reason of doing what they did.. so I don't understand why some people here are making this story like they just chose a quick-and-easy way to get married?

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@ fishy. no, I don't think so.

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Smorkian, would Japan do this for any American? NOT!

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A side note: In addition to her late husband's parents, Maryville, TN has a small Japanese population connected to a few Japanese-owned manufacturing facilities. Hotaru-san will have plenty of support when she comes home to Tennessee.

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Considering there are drive-thru wedding services offered at the Chapel of Vegas (starting at $199 for the budget conscious newly weds) - why not by phone. Don't think there were too many options to take other than the phone while being on a battle ground.

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If she wants to live in America she should be given that opportunity but I don't think she'll stay there very long. She's a young, single mother with no job or language skills. She'll be living with her in-laws in a small southern town. She'll go back to Okinawa within 18 months.

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Maryville, TN has a small Japanese population connected to a few Japanese-owned manufacturing facilities. Hotaru-san will have plenty of support when she comes home to Tennessee.

She will face racism by both in the small town, ignorant southerners and the Japanese community in the same small town. Hope she doesn't have this idea that Maryville, TN is L.A., NC or Seattle as she may have seen on all the TV and movies

She'll go back to Okinawa within 18 months.

Agreed!

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noborito at 11:53 PM JST - 4th December Smorkian, would Japan do this for any American? NOT!

Please cite the case that serves as the basis of your statement.

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furuigakko:

She will face racism by both in the small town, ignorant southerners and the Japanese community in the same small town. Hope she doesn't have this idea that Maryville, TN is L.A., NC or Seattle as she may have seen on all the TV and movies

How much time have you spent in Maryville?

I'm disappointed in Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for standing in the way of this. Fortunately, Tennessee Rep. John Duncan and Sen. Lamar Alexander are backing the Ferschkes on this.

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She will face racism by both in the small town, ignorant southerners and the Japanese community in the same small town. Hope she doesn't have this idea that Maryville, TN is L.A., NC or Seattle as she may have seen on all the TV and movies

I'm not sure where you get this racism comment, furuigakko, as I actually live in this town in question, and am very familiar with this story. I also happen to work at one of these Japanese owned companies. There is a large network of Japanese families here in Maryville, and they are very supportive of each other. Working with over 50+ expats over the years from Japan, they love it here, as well as their families, so much that they do not want to return to Japan at the end of their work assignment. Plus, the Japanese families know they are a highly respected and important part of Maryville as they participate in several annual events with the local college to share their culture with the local community, and each event is very popular. Doesn't sound like us 'ignorant southerners' have shown much racism and lack of hospitality, does it?

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I think that if she has his kid and they got married she deserves to be allowed to go to the States. And I'm sure the southern hospitality of the grandparents would be very welcoming. Yes she'll have to adjust to life there as a single mom but being one in Japan isn't a cake walk either. Good luck to those helping her get to the USA. If she later decides that Japan is a better place to live she'll have to deal with that at the time and grandma and grandpa can go there to visit or she can go visit them back in the States. Who really cares about how they got married? I don't. As long as it's legal the USA should honor their fallen soldier by allowing his widow to live there.

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Everything good starts with a positive attitude, which this Mom seems to have already. Only hard work and tenacity will do the rest.

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A complete waste of tax payers money. Married by phone. You've got to be kidding me.

No sir, you've got to be kidding me with the statement. The guy was in freakin Iraq fighting in a war. The guy gets killed and his wife and his baby get deported. You tell me what's a waste of tax payer money, doing something that is right and letting them stay in the US or spending millions on building bridges to nowhere.

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LexusLFA: Very good comeback to another JT moron. Nothing like haters and those without facts. You deserve the good comeback award for this year.

Hope this works out for the girl and the kid. They deserve it.

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Please cite the case that serves as the basis of your statement.

Would not matter even if it were true. It would be stupid beyond belief to punish individuals for their government's behavior, as a tit for tat. Stupid 1: because its not her fault and Stupid 2: because two wrongs don't make a right and Stupid 3: because good things come of good policies and only idiot parts with good policy because some other guy is an idiot with a bad policy.

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I believe the article said that she was still in Japan for the phone "wedding". And she was pregnant at the time. Now, if she had flown to the US within that month before her new husband died so honorably in Iraq doing his duty, then fine. She should be able to STAY in the US.

HOWEVER!!! If she is STILL in Japan, it stands to reason that she is not seeking "all the benefits of a military spouse", but a free green card to a country that she sees as the ultimate luxury place to live. Military benefits do not include relocating a Japanese woman who probably has never been to America WITHOUT her husband who died at war. The benefits he most likely wished to bestow upon her is access to military medicine and any help available from a US Embassy in Japan.

I've talked to WAY too many Japanese people who are desperate to go live in the US, and as an American woman, I have broken up with men I was in love with because they wanted to get married and immediately move to my home country, because, "Living in the US is cool and fun."

Most of them have no idea what they're getting into. Living in a foreign country is difficult all over the world. And most of the people I talk to can't even speak English.

I think her right to move to the US after her husband's death should hinge ultimately on whether she would be eligible for a visa upon her own merit, because such rights are not "military benefits."

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Not to sure on latest rulings overseas.

Looks like she got PR in he states. But wasn't it the rule that if a child was born and accepted to be US citizens that other family members were eligible to get aid and live/work in he USA.

Agree with others if she decides to move to the states she will have a hard road ahead and struggle to become accepted as many might see her free-loading on her deads husband benefits, etc.

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"Racist South"? "Ignorant Southerners"? Hate to break it to you, but as backwards as you think the South is, they'll be far more hospitable to her than those from say... LA, NY, SF or Seattle.

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couple of people here mentioned her language ability.. wondering what makes you guys think that this girl doesn't speak much english? she was working on the U.S military base and spoke enough english to be hired and keep the job, and though i do not know what her occupation was, but i would imagine her english probably would be much better than many of the immigrants coming into the united states.

and regarding getting married over the phone... they did it as a procedure for her and the baby to get benefit while he was in iraq, and i wouldn't be surprised if they were going to have an actual wedding and the whole getting married thing AFTER he returned from Iraq... unfortunitely he didn't return as a living man, but i don't understand why some people here are making it sound like a joke.

anyways.. i hope all will go well with the girl and the baby.

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and i do agree with Loki520 ... people in the south are really nice. cant say EVERYONE is nice and warm, but my impression is that people in those big cities like NY, LA and etc, they really don't care about foreigners.. it's not that they are not nice, but there are MANY MANY foreigners in those cities so people just dont care, while in the south, many people actually notice when there is a foreigner and they care and offer help. again, not everyone, but when i went to some of the states in the south, everyone was so nice.. very curious yes, but overall, my experience was positive. i would NOT assume this girl wouldn't be accepted with open arms. Good luck, Hotaru!

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@rockerren: just have to say you are one smart lady! In fact, the only reason I agreed to marry my Japanese husband is because he said we can live wherever I want to!

Everything fishy said is true. I remember this story well - getting married by phone under NORMAL circumstances does not fly well with the immigration authorities. It is not considered legit (obviosuly). But within the military in exceptional circumstances (such as these) it IS acceptable and a valid union.

The problem has been all along what is acceptable under military law and how that is inconsistent with this 1950's law on marriage consumation. This senator blocking the move should be ashamed of himself. This is not some illegal immigrant sneaking in, it is the wife and son of a marine who died for his country.

She does speak good English, and although I am not sure of her family circumstances in Okinawa, moving to a country you have never been to before with a young child is not a decision to take lightly, I am sure she has thought long and hard about it and decided her son has better opportunities over there.

I really hope she gets her wish. I am sure her husband would be happy to know she will be living with his family, and I am sure the people there will welcome them with open arms. She will be fine.

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What a crazy news, getting married over the phone, then gets killed in battle then the Japanese woman wants to go to the USA? She must have some bad relationship with her own parents here in Japan.

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I think her right to move to the US after her husband's death should hinge ultimately on whether she would be eligible for a visa upon her own merit, because such rights are not "military benefits."

How about the merit of the child of an American being able to be with his grandparents and extended family in America and not have to leave his mother behind?

How about the merit of the joint ownership of property between spouses, and the fact that that property might be in the U.S? Whatever suspicions you have, the deal was sealed. Bad enough she lost her husband, now you want to take away the rights and priviledges she had by marriage on the basis of assumptions?

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@miamum

"She does speak good English, and although I am not sure of her family circumstances in Okinawa, moving to a country you have never been to before with a young child is not a decision to take lightly, I am sure she has thought long and hard about it and decided her son has better opportunities over there"

The lady visited her husband's hometown for his funeral in 2008. She and the baby also stayed for almost a year with her in-laws in Maryville, TN, from Feb 2009 to Jan 2010 so I am sure she understands what it is like to live in Maryville, TN.

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elbudamexicano-

She must have some bad relationship with her own parents here in Japan

no she doesn't. what do YOU know to make a comment like that... her japanese family is supporting her and the baby ALL THE WAY. and respecting her decision to raise the baby in the country where his father grew up, and to live near the parents of the dead husband who had lost their son so that they can see their only grandson growing up.

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some people are saying she's trying to get a PR status because moving to the states is COOL? (oh PLEEEEASE!!!!).. geez. she wasn't even interested in marrying or even dating an american first.. it's only when the guy asked her out MANY times and after they got to know each other, she decided to be with HIM for him, not his nationality. some people here are judging her too much.

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If she is STILL in Japan, it stands to reason that she is not seeking "all the benefits of a military spouse", but a free green card to a country that she sees as the ultimate luxury place to live.

Way to make assumptions. Who in Japan would see the US as "the ultimate luxury place to live"? Maybe if they were stuck in the 1960's, sure.

This woman wants to raise her child with his grandparents and have him be part of a family, since it sounds like she doesn't have much of a family of her own left. What could possibly be wrong with that?

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I don't think she would have much trouble in the US. I also think she is thinking about her son and probably believes that he would have an easier time growing up in the US. Since the US grandparents want them, there should be no issue. I would expect no issues getting the bill pass Congress. I sure that is what the Sgt. Ferschke would have wanted.

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