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Raleigh Woman Claims Immigration Snafu Keeping Her From Husband

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh woman claims strict immigration rules are keeping her from her husband.

Dana Ford went to England on a business trip 3.5 years ago. She later came back to the states, engaged to be married.

"It was love at first sight, it really was. He's my soulmate, my best friend," she said. "I don't want to live the rest of my life without him."

However, Ford said she is separated from her husband, Timothy, due to immigration problems. Ford claims she filled out immigration papers 3.5 years ago, but she said officials with the Immigration and Naturalization Service never returned the forms, which would start her husband's visa process.

Timothy learned about it the hard way when he returned to England to care for his sick mother. When he flew into Charlotte, INS officials forced him back to England, saying his visa paperwork was not complete.

"We've waited three years for this approval to come across," Ford said.

Ford contacted Sen. Elizabeth Dole's office Monday. By Thursday, the INS sent Dana back the form she and Timothy completed three years ago.

Ford said it is a small consolation since Timothy still cannot come back to the United States until the govenment approves his visa, which could take months, if not years. For now, Ford's cat, George, remains the man of the house.

"My cats have become clingy. They miss my husband," she said.

Dana has not seen her husband since November. Timothy owned a painting business, which employed three people. Since he is gone, the business has folded. Ford said she is left with one income, but she still has bills for two people. She said she had to sell her husband's pickup truck just to make ends meet.

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