MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Hotaru Ferschke just wants to raise her 8-month-old son in his grandparents’ Tennessee home, surrounded by photos and memories of the father he’ll never meet: a Marine who died in combat a month after marrying her from thousands of miles away.
Sgt. Michael Ferschke was killed in Iraq in 2008, leaving his widow and infant son, both Japanese citizens, in immigration limbo: A 1950s legal standard meant to curb marriage fraud means U.S. authorities do not recognize the marriage, even though the military does.
Ferschke and his bride had been together in for more than a year, and she was pregnant when he deployed. 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 requires for the union to be considered consummated.
Okay, two things:
1. You can’t get any more “consumated” than having a kid together.
2. Military law is made by Congress… if it’s powerful9* enough to apply as Federal Law when punishing soldiers it should be powerful enough to benefit Joe, too.