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Marine and Proxy Wedding (Photos) Immigration Problems for Widow Hotaru Ferschke

Sep 18, 2009

A US Marine proxy wedding may keep his son and wife out of the country. Sgt. Michael Ferschke was married to Hotaru Ferschke and she has his 8-month-old son. That was before he lost his life serving his country. The US Marine was killed in combat after he had married Ferschke and now she will raise a little baby without her husband. But where - in the United States or in Japan, her native country?

The baby is named Michael "Mikey" Ferschke III and he is in the US now as is the Marine's widow. She is on a temporary Visa but wants to remain and raise their child as an American. Here's the problem - they didn't get married in person.

ABC News reports, "A 1950s legal standard meant to curb marriage fraud means U.S. authorities do not recognize the marriage, even though the military does."

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The Associated Press notes that the problem is the state doesn't recognize the marriage as legal even though the military does. A report from the wire service notes, "They married by signing their names on separate continents and did not have a chance to meet again in person after the wedding, which a 57-year-old immigration law requires for the union to be considered consummated."

Lots more details on a very complex situation here. (Photos at the link as well). What should become of her and her son - should they not get to stay in the US for her husband's ultimate sacrifice? Right now Hotaru Ferschke, and the baby are living in Tennessee with his parents.


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