Immigration, Take a Number

By: Gienie Assink

Jasmin Salehi. More than likely it is a name you do not recognize, unless you happened to page through the metro section of the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago. Though her name may not be important, her situation is.

You see, Jasmin is facing deportation to her native country of South Korea because she is not a legal citizen of the U.S. “Why should I be concerned?” you may ask. “After all, this country is struggling to support its legal citizens as it is. Shouldn’t they take precedence over illegal residents?”
While the issue is black and white for some, it is not black and white for Jasmine. She was well on her way to achieving legal U.S. citizenship. But all that, and much more, was yanked from her grasp when her husband fell victim to a fatal robbery. Now, without the assistance of her late husband’s citizenship, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) considers Jasmin an illegal alien who should be deported immediately.

How can this be? According to the INS, Jasmin’s marriage to her husband did not meet the two-year minimum that is required for immigrants to acquire permanent residency. Here is a woman still mourning the loss of her husband being told that she is no longer fit for U.S. citizenship, even though she paid 5,000.00 to be here while she waits the time period out. There is something wrong with this situation.

Jasmin’s marriage, like many of our own ancestors, embodied the American dream. She and her husband came to the “Land of Opportunity” to live and raise a family in a country that accepts all races, creeds, and nationalities. Jasmin is not one of the many illegal residents in the U.S. relying on government aid. She immigrated not for financial assistance, but to pursue her dreams.

It is time to step back and ponder the intentions of our government when it will not allow a widow to gain the citizenship she was so close to achieving, yet will sanction the dispersion of myriad benefits to hundreds of illegal aliens.

Perhaps we ought to establish an ad campaign directed toward those who are considering potential citizenship in the U.S.”””Welcome to America, land of the free, if you fit our profile.”

  • JLR

    This is just another example of why governmental intervention is flawed. It reminds me of that story a while back about the boy from Cuba who was snatched up by gunpoint and deported. Totally uncalled for.

  • Crawdude

    If you want to find a red herring, you always can if you want.

    She is not a victim of a bad immigration law, she is a victim of the Federal, State and local governments not enforcing immigration laws on people they catch in this country.

    If 20 million illegals were not allowed to criminally sneak into this country, there would be no need to for the ” letter of the law” requirements for those who try to immigrate legally.

    While I feel for this ladies plight, it is what it is and she needs to go home if the can’t find legal recourse for her.

    Unlike the writer tried to imply, this has nothing to do about race. This lady could just as easily be from a predominant white country and be in the same situation.

    • dean

      I agree with CD on his last point. Some years ago I knew a woman from the Slovak Republic (whiter than white) who staged a fake marriage with an American citizen. The INS caught up with her and deported her, but this was after she had established a more serious relationship with another American. They wanted to marry each other, but he had to go back to her home country, live there for a while, marry her, and then after some time they were able to come back into the US. Onerous, but probably just.

      In the case Genie cites, I would hope the INS would have the flexibility to waive the time requirement, since there was no bad faith demonstrated.

    • Gienie

      CD, I agree with you. My point wasnt to draw attention to her race. My point was this case wouldn’t be significant IF the INS handled each illegal the same consistant way. Deport all of them…and respect the law! Obviously, we don’t. Why not? Because the government benefits from those who are dependant upon it. Its a socialist dream come true. Comrads helping comrads! And until we are consistant about handling situations like this, there will always be stories like Jasmin’s printed to evoke emotional policy.

  • Hannah Zimmerman

    It seems like everyone has their opinion on immigration and there are so many immigration issues. Just this morning I read about one on the Pitch website about a attorney who is fighting Kansas law that allows undocumented children in-state tuition if they have attended school for three years. It is an interesting article, here is the link if you would care to take a look….

  • eddie

    The problem with articles like this is they don’t and in most cases can’t tell the entire story. We get a brief interepretation of this woman’s statement of why she’s here… and that’s it. Is she a mail-order bride, trying to get into the country through a short-term, designed to fail marriage? Was she married to a native US citizen, or did her husband immigrate earlier? There are many questions which would need to be asked to know the whole story, and whether this woman really belongs here, or ought to head back to her home country.

    It does sound like she at least is making, and has made the effort to do things the “proper” way… and that should count for something.

    Whereas, I do believe that everyone who has intentionally immigrated the “improper” way, like paying a guy to smuggle them in, or climbing a fence, or running through the desert, deserves no latitude whatsoever. It’s not like they were walking along and tripped, “Oops! I fell into the U.S. I’d better get a job!” They intentionally broke serious laws, laws that in many countries of the world would see you imprisoned for years… or worse.

  • Anonymous

    45 Illegal Workers Arrested in Metro-D.C. Raid

    Forty-five illegal workers were arrested by federal agents in the largest immigration bust that Maryland has seen in recent years.

    16 homes in Anne Arundel County were raided early on June 30th. Illegal workers for Annapolis Painting Services were allegedly coerced into renting the apartments in exchange for one-third of their monthly wages. The owner of the company, Robert Bontempo, has not yet been charged with any crime, but the company has been accused of providing workers with false Social Security numbers.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    In some sense my sympathy here is on hold because clearly, if the writing of this article is correct there are a lot of unanswered questions.

    One – Was her husband was an immigrant? Probably, the article says:

    “She and her husband came to the “Land of Opportunity” to live and raise a family ”

    Pretty strange wording if he was an American citizen living in Korea and met Jasmine. He would hardly be coming to the land of opportunity, as he would be from here.

    The question then becomes, if hubby immigrated here, how did he do so? If he applied and waited, fine, sounds legit. If he got fast tracked through marriage, then where is the first wife? Did he get divorced, and now is remarrying? If so, eyebrows should be raised, and perhaps this is the case.

    The point is, I know plenty of people who married to help someone get in. That was my first clue as to the power of any sort of European accent over a twenty something woman. A European accent is about the best side order to a marriage proposal as a set of keys to a new Jag, maybe better.

    We don’t know all the facts in this case, but the fact that the article strongly implies hubby was an immigrant should raise concerns that there is probably a lot more to this story than meets the eye.