Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Widow Penalty

Immigration is a hot word in communities around the nation. Everyone has their own opinion on what should be done about our immigration policies, and the solutions are hotly contested everywhere from government institutions to neighborhood delis.

But there are unfair immigration practices that are swept away with the tide of negative publicity surrounding the larger issue, and they affect our sister widows.

Widowsbond advocates for women suffering the loss of their husbands...and in the case of the women you will meet below...the opportunity to live in the family home, visit her husband's grave, walk into his closet and smell his clothes. All of this and much more are taken from the women that will be featured on 60 minutes this Sunday, November 23rd.

Brent Renison is an attorney working for these women for free. He is providing legal counsel to many women who had nowhere else to turn. Due to his efforts these widows have a voice. All they ask is that their cases be considered individually by the immigration department. Brent describes what is happening and how you can help in the post below.

I encourage you to take this opportunity to reach out to sister widow's who need more voices to get behind their cause. Grief is a large enough load to carry--automatic deportation shouldn't be an added loss....


I promised to let everyone know when I would appear on CBS 60 Minutes. The time has come. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Bob Simon, the most honored journalist in international reporting, will expose the “Widow Penalty” to the nation this Sunday night , November 23rd on CBS 60 Minutes.

America is deporting widows of American citizens automatically and without appeal when their spouse dies during bureaucratic processing of the green card application.

My sincerest desire is that, after watching the broadcast, Monday morning you will do something about this terrible practice. There are a number of ways you can help to end the widow penalty. The most important is to tell your elected officials that a change must occur in the abysmal way that we treat widows of American citizens. Whether you effect a change in the way the current or future Administration handles the cases, or push through a legislative amendment signed by the President, this practice must stop. Visit and click on the box on the front page to find out how you can help.

Please be a part of that change on Monday morning, and please share this information with anyone whom you believe will join us and do the right thing.

Brent Renison

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