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Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Woolsey Introduce Legislation to Provide Green Card to Chinese Grandmother
Facing Possible Deportation

May 24, 2001

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) today introduced private legislation to provide permanent residence status to Zhenfu Ge, the mother of a naturalized citizen who died of cancer last month and the grandmother of two American children.

“Mrs. Ge promised to care for her grandchildren after her daughter’s death. But because her daughter died 11 days before her final INS hearing, Mrs. Ge now faces deportation instead of receiving a green card,” Senator Feinstein said. “Granting her lawful permanent residence will allow Mrs. Ge to keep the promise she made to her daughter. I hope my colleagues will support this private legislation so that we can help Mrs. Ge, her grandchildren, and son-in-law begin to rebuild their lives in the wake of their family tragedy.”

Representative Woolsey said: “Mrs. Ge has been helping take care of her grandchildren for the past two years. Forcing her out of their lives would make a difficult time for the family even harder. Nothing can bring their mother back, but passing this bill to allow Mrs. Ge to stay in the country will give the children a living link to their mother and her culture that they will be denied forever if their grandmother is deported.”

Mrs. Ge came to the United States in 1998 to help care for her two grandchildren while her daughter and her son-in-law worked. Shortly after her arrival, Mrs. Ge’s daughter filed an immigration petition on her behalf. She was scheduled for an April 26 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) interview, which is the last step in the green card process. The family anticipated that the interview would result in Mrs. Ge’s gaining a green card.

But on April 15 of this year, eleven days before Mrs. Ge’s scheduled INS interview, her daughter died. Because current law does not allow Mrs. Ge to adjust her status without her daughter, Mrs. Ge now faces deportation.

Private legislation is usually introduced on behalf of individuals whose compelling circumstances require Congress to act when administrative or legal remedies have been exhausted.

If Mrs. Ge does receive a green card, she, like all others who receive permanent residence status, would eligible to apply for naturalization in 5 years.

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