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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

July 4, 2000

 Embassy of The United States

Bucharest, Romania

Att. Steven Patterson

Dear Mr. Patterson,

 I am a U.S. Citizen desperately asking for your help in getting reunited with my wife Daniela Steinberg, a citizen of Romania, who is being prevented from joining me in the United States by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Our separation has already lasted over a year and a half and there is no hope for any change without a drastic intervention.

 Daniela and I were separated on December 28, 1998 by a cruel and, I believe, illegal action of an INS agent at the JFK Airport in New York.  Daniela, my fiancée at that time, who just arrived from Romania, was stopped on arrival by an INS agent, who treated her very rudely, questioned her reason for coming to the United States, ignored her answers, and accused her of working illegally in the United States. She was given two options: (1) to sign a confession stating that she worked while in New York or (2) be arrested, jailed, deported and never again allowed to enter the United States. Fearing arrest, Daniela, whose English is limited, chose the first option, signed the papers she was told to sign, and was immediately forced back on the plane to Romania without being allowed to see me at the airport prior to her departure. 

Here is some background information.

I met my wife Daniela in 1996 while working in Romania. She was working at the Romanian Company I was visiting. Our friendship turned into love. We spent time together in Romania and Moldova during my business trips in 1996 and 1997.  In 1996, Daniela applied for and received a 10-year multiple entry visa to the United States at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. In January 1997, we traveled together to the United States and stayed in my apartment in New York. During 1997 and 1998, Daniela traveled back and forth between Romania and the United States to observe the legal time limit stated on the I-94 form.

 Our happiness was broken when Daniela was not admitted to the United States on December 28, 1998. My entire family, including my elderly parents, gathered together in Woburn, Massachusetts, at my sister’s house, to meet Daniela. Daniela and I were planning to announce to the family our wedding plans.  As a result of the INS action, I was denied an opportunity of having a wedding in my country.

                                                                     - 2 -

 I married Daniela in the Government office in Bucharest on March 31, 1999.  Since the wedding day, I traveled to Bucharest six times to be with my wife. I even tried to get a job in Romania.

 After the wedding, I applied for an Immigration Visa for my wife Daniela at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest (INS No. A__ ___ ___). The application was denied on July 20, 1999.  Following this denial, we filled an Application for Waiver (form I-601) and, as instructed, I provided an extreme hardship letter to the INS office in Vienna, Austria (this office handles immigration issues for several European countries).  I was on the phone with Mr. Allen J. Ouellette, the acting Officer in Charge on a daily basis.  A few weeks later, I was advised by Mr. Ouellette that the application was denied again. In his words “a separation from wife is not a hardship”.

 At that point, I hired an attorney and again filed an Application for Waiver.

On June 16, 2000, after waiting for over seven months for the third answer,

I received another denial.  The statement forcibly signed by Daniela on December 28, 1998, has been used as the basis for each of the denials. 

This sudden and prolonged separation from my wife has affected my life and my health.  I am feeling lonely and desperate in my inability to fight injustice. I’ve had episodes of high blood pressure, which is now being treated by medication and monthly visits to a doctor. Additionally, my frequent travel and almost daily telephone calls to Romania are causing a financial hardship, and my requests for time off for travel to Romania may put my employment in jeopardy.

 I am a U.S citizen who cannot understand why our Government fights for the human rights of people in other countries but neglects its own citizens.

I believe there are many more innocent victims of similar INS actions, which demonstrate a total disregard for human rights. 

I need your help!  I don’t want to be forced to permanently leave my country to be able to be with my wife elsewhere in the world.  Please let me know if you can help.  I will provide the necessary information and documentation.

 Sincerely, 

 David Steinberg                                                                                           
 
Forest Hills, NY

 


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