Thursday, February 21, 2008

Widow Gets to Stay - For Now

The former Corina de Chalup’s immigration journey began in 1990, when her fiance came to the United States with his Croatian band. While in New Jersey, he was hit by a car driven by a speeding teen and badly hurt, according to Colbert. Emergency room doctors didn’t notice a broken vertebra, though, and because of the error, Maro ended up a quadriplegic.

When told her fiance was hurt, Turcinovic (Corina) obtained a “visa waiver” to enter the country and be at his side. Under the waiver, a foreign national may stay 90 days and then must leave to apply for a visa.
“She came here with no intention of ever staying,” Bill May explained. But it became clear Maro couldn’t be moved in 90 days. Rather than leave the country — and Maro, who had no relatives here —Turcinovic stayed and married Maro, Colbert said.

He died in 2004 — before he could become a U.S. citizen. If Maro Turcinovic had become a citizen, it would have given his wife a better chance of getting a green card. Immigration officials bungled Maro’s naturalization process. Maro had filled out all of the paperwork and submitted a waiver stating he could not travel to take the oath as a citizen, nor could he travel to submit fingerprints because he was paralyzed from the neck down. Immigration officials told Maro an agent would be sent to his home to take his fingerprints. But that never happened. Instead, Maro got a notice that his application had been canceled for lack of fingerprints.

And on Dec. 28, police officers came knocking at her door and arrested her.
“I saw the police, and I opened with a big smile, because I thought they were looking for a bad guy,” Turcinovic told the Sun-Times earlier this month. “It turned out I was the bad guy.”

Click here for the Full Article

She has a temporary stay of deportation thanks in part to congressman Lipinski but she is not out in the clear yet.

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