Deena Gilbey is a British woman living in New Jersey. Her husband had a work visa to be in the U.S. and she was a “dependent” on that visa. Mrs. Gilbey’s husband was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Now somehow she has no legal status in this country.
Within days of the bombing, she received a letter from the government telling her she must leave though her two small children, both American citizens, are free to stay in the country as orphans. That’s not all. The IRS can grab 60 percent of the life insurance benefit her husband left for her. If she were a U.S. citizen, the IRS couldn’t get a penny.
Mrs. Gilbey is understandably shocked. She says, “My husband was murdered in this country, his remains are still there somewhere at Ground Zero, and now the U.S. government is killing us all over again.” An unsettling story. But the reaction of the people in Chatham Township, New Jersey demonstrates all that is good about the American way.
The police chief promises to barricade the house if immigration officials dare to serve a warrant on Mrs. Gilbey. The fire chief agrees, saying, “The American people will simply not allow anyone, including our own government, to disturb or harass Mrs. Gilbey.” Our federal elected officials must take action.
Congress can act to protect not just Mrs. Gilbey, but any person caught in such a ridiculous and callous situation. And President Bush, as the nation’s chief executive, can also use his power to prevent this injustice. Things like this shouldn’t happen. Not in America.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.