Woman Deported Then Allowed To Return Receives Green Card
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A pregnant woman, deported to the Philippines and then allowed to return to the United States after an outcry of support, received permission Wednesday to remain in this country permanently, her husband said.
″She screamed when she opened it. ... We got a nice surprise a month early today,″ Richard Parnes said, adding that Immigration and Naturalization Service officials had said it would take three months to get the green card for his wife, Eleanor.
″Maybe the government finally has their act together,″ said Parnes, 31.
Mrs. Parnes, 29, had been an undocumented alien since leaving her job as a housekeeper to the Philippine consul general in Los Angeles in 1974. She had been under an immediate deportation order for several years.
Last Nov. 15, the INS whisked Mrs. Parnes out of the country to the Philippines without telling her husband, who didn’t even get to say goodbye.
After an outcry and widespread publicity spread by her husband, an actor, she was allowed to return.
The card she received, officially known as an alien registration receipt card, is not actually green. It’s a more sturdy, laminated version of a temporary card Mrs. Parnes received when she returned to the United States two months ago, said Ernest Gustafson, director of the INS’s Los Angeles district.
″She knew immediately what it was (when it arrived). Now she no longer has to carry her passport in her purse,″Parnes said. ″In three years, she can apply for citizenship and she has every intention of doing that.″
Based on her husband’s U.S. citizenship, the INS waived a requirement barring people deported at government expense from seeking re-entry into the United States for at least five years.
Mrs. Parnes, who flew back to Los Angeles on Dec. 7, is expecting a child in May. Despite concerns over an X-ray that she had to take to return to the United States, the doctors say the fetus is healthy, Parnes said.
Gustafson said no special effort was made to get Mrs. Parnes her card early.
″She was given a temporary card that is good until a laminated card is issued in Arlington, Texas,″ he said. ″That takes anywhere from two to four months, depending on their workload. There is no expediting on anybody’s card.″
INS officials often exaggerate the time that it takes the laminated cards to arrive when questioned by applicants, Gustafson said.
″The four months that we quote many times will cause us not to have repeated inquiries,″ he said.