DHS trying to deport missing soldier's wife
Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday June 20, 2007
Print This  Email This

Her husband volunteered to defend this country, and he has been missing in the deserts of Iraq for more than a month. Now the US government is trying to kick her out of the country.

Army specialist Alex Jimenez married Yaderlin Hiraldo in 2004. Hiraldo entered the US illegally from the Dominican Republic in 2001, and when Jimenez petitioned for her green card while he was stationed in Iraq it alerted the government to her presence, according to a report on Boston television station WBZ.

Jimenez went missing May 12 in Iraq when he and two other soldiers were captured by al-Qaeda following an ambush. An immigration judge stopped Hiraldo's green card processing when her husband went missing, and the government has so far refused to grant a so-called hardship waiver that would allow her to stay in the country, WBZ reported.

Immigration lawyer Matthew Kolken told the television station that Hiraldo would have to wait 10 years to return to the US if she returned to the Dominican Republic to apply for a green card, as the government wants her to do.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday, asking that Hiraldo be allowed to stay in the US.

"I do not believe Yaderlin should have her stress and grief compounded by additional worries about her own immigration status," Kerry wrote to DHS secretary Michael Chertoff. "I request that no further action be taken Yaderlin’s case while her husband is missing in action."

A DHS spokesperson did not immediately respond to RAW STORY's request for comment.

Jimenez's identification card was found in an al-Qaeda safe house recently, along with a video claiming that al-Qaeda members had killed Jimenez and other member's of his unit. But there has been no other sign of him since his disappearance.