Tenn. Marine’s widow, baby return to Japan

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Marine’s widow who has been fighting immigration law to remain in the U.S. to raise her 1-year-old child has returned to Japan.

Robin Ferschke says her daughter-in-law, Hotaru Ferschke, and grandson, Mikey, returned to Japan on Jan. 4 so Hotaru could go back to work. A private bill that would grant Hotaru permanent residency in the U.S. has not made much progress in Congress because of the holiday break.

Hotaru married Sgt. Michael Ferschke of Maryville, Tenn., by phone in 2008 while he was stationed in Iraq and she was in Japan. He died in combat a month later.

The Homeland Security Department will not recognize the proxy marriage, saying it was not consummated — even though Hotaru was already pregnant with the couple’s child.