Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am glad someone taking the side of compassion and Human values to a War widow who's facing deportation, may not return to Venezuela. Immigration officials may reconsider her case.

MAITLAND, Fla. (AP) - A military contractor's widow facing deportation may be allowed to stay in Florida after U.S. immigration officials agreed to process her legal residency petition.

Dahianna Heard's husband Jeffrey was killed during an ambush in 2006 in Iraq. He was an Army veterans had been working as a military contractor. The couple had a son who was born in the U.S. before Jeffrey Heard's death.

Dahianna Heard was subject to deportation to her native Venezeula because her marriage had lasted just three months short of a two-year immigration requirement.

But U.S. immigration officials last week told the Maitland woman they would reconsider her case for permanent residency.

She said the love of her life was killed in Iraq, and his death might be her one-way ticket out of this country.

Dahianna Heard lives in Casselberry in Seminole County, but she is Venezuelan by birth.

She was only three months away from being a legal citizen by marriage. She could be forced to move back to her homeland, but with her son born in this country, she said she wants to stay.

Jeffrey Heard was a contractor in Iraq providing communications equipment to the military. He was killed in March in the combat zone. Dahianna Heard has a memorial to him in their Casselberry home.

But so far, none of that has mattered to immigration officials who said since he died before their second wedding anniversary, she and their 1-year-old son, Brian, have to go back to her home country.

"I don't want to go to Venezuala. It's not a good situation right now with President (Hugo) Chavez," she said. "My family is here. My life is here. Everything is here. I see my husband here. I have baby here. My family is here."

Her lawyer hopes the technicality will be overlooked. Jeff Heard had petitioned for his wife's citizenship, but that petition died with him. Her petition is seen as deficient because she wasn't married to him a full two years.

She said she wants to stay in the country her husband helped defend.

Her lawyer hopes to get a waiver on humanitarian grounds

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