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Absolute Disgrace- Military widow facing deportation

The Widow Penalty at work again. Meet Nok Kells-

Nok Kells still finds her situation befuddling. The U.S. government is paying military death benefits to her and her two children, but at the same time telling her she has no legal basis to remain in the country.Kells1.jpg

Kells married U.S. naval officer Robert Kells in July 2005. This time last year, he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Wildwood.

He said this weekend would be the first anniversary of his son's death. Robert Kells was a petty officer first class in the Navy.

He met his wife in Beijing in 2003 and was living in Wildwood working as a recruiter when he died. The accident occurred just a short distance from the couple's home.

The above article is over a year old. Nok Kells was on television last week, I'll be getting to that. He husband Robert Kells was a first class petty Officer and a Navy recruiter at the time of his death.

Nok's case is in limbo at the moment. She has two daughters from a previous marriage. She was given a one year deferrment, but now that has expired. Her driver's license is invalid as is her 19-year-old daughter's, both are not legally able to work. Thankfully Robert Kells' parents are supporting his wife and children.

Nok Kells and her attorney appeared on television recently. You can watch the video here. If you want to read more about the Widow Penalty, I suggest you read my long post here.

Robert Kells served this country, now we're going to deport his widow. This is outrageous. Why do people, including some Wizbang readers, defend immigration when they commit travesties like this on a regular basis? These are usually the same people were screaming about immigration when six months after 9-11 the agency renewed visas for some of the hijackers.

The Mark Krikorian mindset, which wants to clamp down on legal immigrants or turns a blind eye to their punishment, I have never understood. We don't need legal immigrants? The US is facing a shortage of 800,000 nurses in a little over 10 years. That will affect the healthcare system of this country. Sure so lets cut back on the total of visas given out to trained nurses. Makes sense? Hell no!

Nor does the Widow Penalty. Widows like Mrs. Kells are legal immigrants, not terrorists or illegal aliens. They haven't committed any crime, and therefore if the marriage was valid, there should be no reason for them not to be able to remain in this country. Death doesn't totally end the obligations of marriage. A widow is still responsible for debts and other obligations they and their spouse signed onto before one of them died.

The basis for the widow penalty is an almost forty year old administrative decision. How many widows of our active military have we deported over those years? The original case, was the wife of a Navy sailor who died on duty. We deported Mrs. Varela. It is was a disgrace then, and is a disgrace still today. BTW, the amount of active widow is not thousands, but hundreds. Those involved with the class action suit numbering around 150. Kells2.jpg

At present there is a class action lawsuit going on in California, and legislation going through the house to bring an end to this nonsense. Unfortunately their isn't a Senate equivalent of HR 6034 and the class action only applies to widows living in the area of the 9th circuit court of appeals. I'm not the only conservative blogger who thinks the Widow Penalty should be ended. Ed from Hot Air, Jim Addison from here at Wizbang, and James Joyner at OTB agree with me. What we need is more people, ones willing to pressure congress to end this travesty. We should feel ashamed of a government that feels the need to deport widows of our serving military. They put their lives on the line for us, now its time for the American public to support the families left behind.


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Comments (37)

This part of immigration po... (Below threshold)

This part of immigration policy I agree with you on.

The part I don't agree to is amnesty for people who entered illegally.

I don't agree that our quotas should be entirely IT people either. There are way too many other jobs that need filling.

I also think that anyone that commits a crime while either an illegal alien or on a visa should be deported. (Let's not get into the level of crime here, I'm not talking about speeding tickets, but CRIME).

Although on first read, I w... (Below threshold)

Although on first read, I would say this is wrong. But there is probably more to this story. What is in her background? ww

This just further enhances ... (Below threshold)

This just further enhances my belief that our Immigration system is completely broken and needs to be fixed top to bottom. There is no rhyme or reason to legal immigration which is why many otherwise upstanding people decide to immigrate illegally. We need to fix legal immigration policy and laws every bit as much as illegal immigration.

Didn't she become an Americ... (Below threshold)

Didn't she become an American by marriage to the guy? I don't get it.

BillThe link to the ... (Below threshold)

The link to the admin decision does not work.

I totally agree w/you on th... (Below threshold)

I totally agree w/you on this Bill.What have we become as a country,or a people,that we would be so damn asnine or cold that we could allow things such as this to take place to start off with.These Soldiers,Sailors,Airmen,Marines and Coasties put it all on the line and then some,for THIS.

The problem: In ... (Below threshold)
Codekeyguy Author Profile Page:

The problem:
In a situation like this, the non-citizen spouse goes to the front of the line, BUT if the citizen spouse dies BEFORE THE PAPERWORK IS COMPLETED, the paperwork is CANCELLED. The non-citizen then has to RE-APPLY under the regular rules. This bureaucratic bul*sh*t has been the rule for many years. It is stupid, but what do you expect.

The fact of the matter is t... (Below threshold)

The fact of the matter is that some extremists have made such an issue about this illegal immigration issue, that more and more unfair examples are emerging of deportations of persons for unfair reasons. A restaurant owner who ran a popular restaurant for over 20 years in Portland, Oregon was deported back to Vancouver, Canada because she was an immigrant from there. Families are being torn apart.

In Oregon, the average citizen, who is both a U.S. citizen as well as an Oregon resident is now being faced with acquiring paperwork at their own expense to prove that they are both a U.S. citizen as well as an Oregon resident just to get their driver's license renewed. This is likely only going to result in more illegal immigrant migrant workers driving with no license or insurance and creating financial nightmares for motorists injured in accidents.

And even more unfair, even though nonU.S. residents can still receive social service benefits such as food stamps or public health care benefits, residents who have mental or physical disabilities or are in poverty are now being forced to spend funds and acquire documentation to prove that they are U.S. citizens or lose their benefits. Some people with mental retardation or mental illness do not understand all of of this and could end up homeless with no food, shelter or health care because the rules are now too complicated for them to understand.

This illegal immigration nonsense has simply gone too far. There are some reasonable steps American society can take to ensure orderly immigration, but creating new roadblocks to legal lifelong American citizens to be able to even renew their driver's license is complete nonsense.

"The Mark Krikorian mindset... (Below threshold)

"The Mark Krikorian mindset, which wants to clamp down on legal immigrants or turns a blind eye to their punishment, I have never understood. We don't need legal immigrants? The US is facing a shortage of 800,000 nurses in a little over 10 years."

Because my dear Jempty, some of us place the national interest before "having an Asian sex-slave wife".

And if you really believe the (name your favorite pet industry) is having a labor shortage, you are laughingly naive. Whether nursing, IT, construction, leaf-blowing - it's all claimed as a way to increase the supply of labor and thus lower wages/salaries.

Besides, we are a nation my dear Jempty, not simply an employment center for the world. We have a history, culture, language, religion, etc. Ever heard of these things.

But fear not, you're my very favorite open borders, globalist whack-job! :)

If she's here without prope... (Below threshold)

If she's here without proper authorization, a legal visa, she needs to be deported. Everyone has a sob story about how they are a special case and deserving of special treatment.

For the uninitiated, the USA accepts more legal (and illegal, thank you Jorge Bush) immigrants than all other nations in the world combined and yet so many liberal republicans, aka, neocons, like Bill Jempty cry that we're not quite as populated at India and China. Give it a little more time Bill, you'll dream will come true, it's happening.

At least two-thirds if not three-fourths of Americans favor a strict clampdown on illegal immigration and somewhere around 55-60% favor reducing LEGAL immigration in the coming years. Yet the liberals and neocons still think they have a ultimate wisdom and they should decide to perform more social engineering on the American nation. Their goal is to re-make the United States into the United Nations. They are succeeding. For now.

It is a shame she hasn't be... (Below threshold)

It is a shame she hasn't been deported yet. I'm sick and tired of bending over, kissing the rear-end of foreigners, who are here milking the system and having politicians fawn over them and more than a few "pundits" like Miquel Medved and now Jempty.

Krikorian is right. Tancredo is right. We need a wholesale, immigration "time out" for several years, then a slow, steady increase in legal immigration but restricting the immigrants to immediate family, not the entire, extended family nor the entire turd world village.

Paul, when the federal and ... (Below threshold)

Paul, when the federal and state government lets me know I have some "free passes" in picking what laws I can obey is the day I will welcome all illegals. It is not a people issue, it is a legal issue. Do you have to be "extreme" to believe in following the law? Only on the left. ww

Yet another boo-hoo illegal... (Below threshold)

Yet another boo-hoo illegal story. Sorry but if she is not legal, then she has to go back. Marrying an American is the oldest trick in the book to try to stay in the US. Guess it didn't work this time. The soldier put his life on the line for his country, not his wife, so that point is moot. Every illegal has a sob story on why they should be allowed to stay. Too bad, so sad but she needs to be deported.

"families are being separat... (Below threshold)

"families are being separated"...... boo frickin hoo. If keeping your family UNITED is so important to you, stay all together in bum-f*** Meh-hee-co, Chi-Com land, Crapistan, Ire(land of the drunks)land or where ever you hail from because you're not an American, get it?

The liberals on the left and the right want open borders, continuous so called "free trade", etc.

As previously said by WildWillie, when do 5th generation Americans get to pick and choose which laws we will obey and which we will break because "the system is broken". Too f***ing funny.

Wow. the hateful, right-wi... (Below threshold)

Wow. the hateful, right-wing xenophobes are out in full-force today. Though I expose myself to reactionary thought on a daily basis to better understand what must be done to fight it, seldom have I come across a statement so utterly despicable as this:

"Because my dear Jempty, some of us place the national interest before 'having an Asian sex-slave wife'." -- Posted by BETWyan

I wonder if any of you other reactionaries who might be out there can come up with something even more odious.

How come the left always wa... (Below threshold)

How come the left always wants to make legislation not from logic but from feelings? This is what this story is an example of. You can hear the outrage, "This guy served our country and now his widow is being deported! The horror!"

But let's look at the facts.

When you marry a United States Citizen and apply for Immigrant status you go to the front of the line to immigrate into the United States. If they got married in July of 2005 then she should have become a temporary legal resident in July of 2005. There are several ways to do this and without knowing the details, its hard to say what might have happened here.

For arguments sake, lets say she did everything legal and came here on a K-1 visa in May or June and then they got married in July. Immediately she adjusts status from a non-immigrant fiance to an immigrant spouse.

This grants you temporary status. You have to be together for 2 years. The reason for this two years to to hopefully keep out the false marriages for status nonesense that happens a lot.

So, if they did everything legal and she was a temporary resident adjusting to permanent resident in July of 2007 then it doesn't matter if her spouse died insofar as her legal status is concerned. She can now divorce the guy and be fine.

That doesn't appear to be the case. Did he die before July of 2007? Is this the Widow penalty we are talking about?

If this is the case, then there does appear to be a problem. But I think it's not an immigration problem but an idiot test. You can still legaly immigrate if your spouse passes away in those first two years (assuming you didn't kill them) you can even legally immigrate if your spouse abuses you in the first two years. Shoot, we've got a million exceptions to the rules here.

So what are the facts? Let's go heavy on the facts here and a little lighter on the drama, shall we?

Herman, the limp-wrist, wan... (Below threshold)

Herman, the limp-wrist, wants to better understand right wing zeal. From your momma's basement, Hermy? Does momma pay your bills so you can "surf the web?" How exciting, the web!

I find it interesting that liberals limp-wrists on the left and right, neocons, expect Americans to obey the law but if you speak Spanish, are a Chi-Com or a Mohammedan, you are entitled to break several US laws concurrently, because the "system is broken".

Because my dear Jempty, ... (Below threshold)

Because my dear Jempty, some of us place the national interest before "having an Asian sex-slave wife".

Jesus Christ, Bill, you sure do stir up the most ignorant pieces of shit on the internet, don't you?

The hateful, right-wing xen... (Below threshold)

The hateful, right-wing xenophobes I see are out in full force today! Though I've encountered a LOT of vile reactionary garbage in my efforts to better understand the conservative mindset, seldom have I encountered a statement as utterly despicable as this:

"Because my dear Jempty, some of us place the national interest before 'having an Asian sex-slave wife'." Posted by BETWyan

Who's this nut, BETWyan, trying to slur: Mr. Kells, Mr. Jempty, their wives, or all of them? I'm not entirely sure.

I do wonder if any of the hate-filled reactionaries out there can come up with something even more odious. I hope not.

Baggi, If the s... (Below threshold)


If the spouse dies within 2 years all PAPER WORK IS CANCELED.

Her and her children have been fingerprinted , had medical examines, been interviewed. had police background checks. they have also paid all the fees (over 1000 USD). She was issued an immigrant visa. As spouse she gets a conditional two year I-551s Permeant Resident Card aka Green card. She can convert that after 2 years to a standard Green card. After 10 years She can become a citizen.

However now she will not be able to stay. All the paper will be as it never existed and she will not be able to come to the USA. They are processing applications from China from 1997 currently that means that she most likely will not be able to get into the country another decade or two. The intent of her husband was for her to be in the USA.
If she had done some crime then yes deport her but in this case she and her family are being punished for something outside of their control.

hcddbz,I actually ... (Below threshold)


I actually have pretty mixed feelings about this. Where I work we process immigrant visa's all day long. There is so much corruption in the process ive become rather jaded to the fact that there could actually be an honest marriage out there.

Most of the time the marriage is honest on the part of the United States Citizen who found himself a wife abroad. But all day long I see permanent residence who were married for 2 years, got their permanent status, then left their spouse. This is so common place ive started thinking we should make the temporary status for marriage more like 5 years, rather than just 2 years.

So what do we have here? Hard to tell if it was a sham marriage or not (On the part of the woman, not on the part of the military guy who passed on). Its pretty sad that the guy passed away but i'm not really broken up over deporting this women and her grown children.


Perhaps ive become a bit cold hearted in my 12 years working on our nations borders. But I look at it like this, they live in those countries. If I went to Mexico for the day, or for a week vacation, or even to live for a short while and they kicked me out (IE: Deported me back to the United States) would there be screaming and yelling and gnashing of teeth on my part? No. I speak the language of the United States, lived here for many years and am familiar enough with this place to get by, because its my country.

So why is it always so bad to send people home?

It's a horrible thing that this man died. It really is and my heart goes out to his family and friends. Had he been married to this woman and had children with this woman, for any significant amount of time, i'd think differently about it. But from what I understand from the story, they only met for the first time in 2003 and he died in 2006 I think, right? Meaning they only knew each other for 3 years.

Again, I openly admit I could be wrong here but i'd rather err on the side of deportation then on opening yet another avenue for the degradation of our culture.... which is another story.

Fuck you, Baggi. You would ... (Below threshold)

Fuck you, Baggi. You would honour the wishes of a soldier only so long as he's alive; and once he's dead, deport his family? You are a piece of shit.

Baggi is correct. His expe... (Below threshold)

Baggi is correct. His experience, like mine in dealing with immigration is that one becomes very jaded. It's often a scam. The foreigners lie, cheat, steal, comitt fraud, just about anything to get to the USA.

Mark Krikorian's new book states in his opinion, mass immigration is coming to an end. It is obsolent in the modern world. It destroys a nation's culture by the importation of peoples who very often are from very different cultures with very different values, customs and mores(sp?).

When you look at immigration from a high level, macro point of view and weigh the pros and cons, it tends to be a wash-out. No net gain and perhaps a small net loss. Firms get cheap labor and thus bigger profits but society has higher taxes to pay in order to finance the healthcare and schooling of immigrants and their offspring, not to mention the chronic law-breaking that many, many illegal immigrants engage in - identity theft, social security fraud, income tax evasion, driving without a license/insurance, etc.

Clamp down on illegals and lower legal immigration. Period.

Well, My family ... (Below threshold)


My family immigrated to the USA and I met my wife abroad while in the Navy. We been married 12 years. I know of others we are married to foreign nationals for much longer times. So I can see the no frauds. I live among them. I also have American friends married to Americans who had 6 month and 2 year marriages. I say evaluate each case and make determination based on the facts. The only thing the government is doing in this case is saying the husband dies and get out.

BaggiLet's assume AL... (Below threshold)

Let's assume ALL of the marriages you note that are subject to this law are sham marriages, or marriages that the non US citizen clearly intends to leave after the required two year period? How many people are we talking about? I'm not asking you to provide one, but a link that gives some quantifiable data to this discussion would be helpful.

Millions of undocumented, unregistered aliens that have violated US law to enter this country I've got a real problem with. But a person who has submitted to the legal process, background check and documentation that Mrs. Kells submitted in order to marry her husband should not be deported.This law requires another look.

Becoming "jaded" is certainly no excuse; there is a thin line between becoming jaded and bureacratic tyranny.

Conservatives (by that I mean fiscal and social conservatives that have some root in the true meaning of conservative defined by a Buckley, or better yet, an Edmund Burke) should take a hard look at this issue because it touches on all matter of conservative principles that have nothing to do with the open immigration debate.

Well said, Hugh. I would ar... (Below threshold)

Well said, Hugh. I would argue, though, that Baggi is not merely a tyrannical bureaucrat, but a typical reactionary who always needs an "other" to scapegoat. Commies? Beat 'em. Terrorists? Being addressed--and less likely to harm an American than the weather is. Immigrants? Git 'em, Cletus!

As Mark Krikorian correctly... (Below threshold)

As Mark Krikorian correctly points out in his new book "The New Case Against Immigration", there really is little point to distinguishing between legal and illegal immigration as long as we don't really enforce immigration law (which we haven't for a good 15 years or so).

The top-down, macro view of immigration says two things are happening: 1) cheap labor for firms - often (but not always), illegal, black market labor and 2) social engineering (changing the demographic population of the USA, through the importation of immigrants, since most immigrants (legal and illegal) are not caucasian, the historic majority of the country). It reminds one of the 19th century German leader Bismark, who once quipped something like, "if the people fail to vote the way we (ruling elite) want, we'll elect a new population". "New Americans" are being imported everyday, some 2500 per day, each day, across the southern border. Then there are the legal immigrants, the "guest workers" (H-1Bs), the foreign students, etc. who seldom if every actually go back home. They stay, they sponsor their relatives and our population of Latinos, Asians and Muslims grow faster and faster, replacing traditional America.

These two macro issues are rarely, if every raised by the media and politicians for they don't want to awaken the masses of Americans who certainly object to both aspects.

Americans have been brainwashed into sentamentality. We've been conditioned to think Ellis Island, 1915, whenever the subject of immigration comes up. But what they don't tell you is those immigrants were processed, medically checked, expected to learn English and the topper, some 30% went back home after giving up on a new life in the US, so the net increase in population wasn't as big as is commonly thought.

It's hopeless, though. Liberalism has infected both the left and the right. Open borders, globalism, multi-lingualism, pandering to ethnicity, succumbing to Islam is out future.

They stay, they sponsor ... (Below threshold)

They stay, they sponsor their relatives and our population of Latinos, Asians and Muslims grow faster and faster, replacing traditional America.

Why don't you articulate an argument as to why this is a bad thing? You haven't done that, other than suggesting that most Americans are racists who think 'American' has something to do with 'Caucasian'. If you can't put forth such an argument, then can people safely assume that you're a neo-Know-Nothing, and the sort of person who needs to be ignored?

Because my know-nothing you... (Below threshold)

Because my know-nothing young lad, race/ethnicity matters. Just ask the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, English, French....shall I continue?

The American people, overwhelmingly, want the USA to remain majority caucasian, Judeo-Christian nation. Deal with it. Call it whatever your nancy-boy college professors call it. That's one reason why close to 90% of the public wants English to be the official langauge of the country. If that hurts your "sensitive feelings", grow up and deal with it.

Caucasians, with Judeo-Christian and British traditions created and built this country. Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, Brazilians, Russians would very likely not have created the same nation. Why? Because race and ethnicity matter. In simpler terms, people are different.

Good, hard working "immigra... (Below threshold)

Good, hard working "immigrants".....LoL!

Harrisonburg (Virginia) Daily News Record

Illegal alien guilty of making fake IDs
Jose Gutierrez-Ramirez will spend at least two years in a federal penitentiary for his role in a counterfeit identification ring. -- On Monday, Gutierrez-Ramirez, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty to two felony charges: aggravated ID fraud and identity fraud conspiracy...

Island Packet -- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Audit: Illegals using stolen, fake IDs to steal jobs
There's a lot of evidence that illegal immigrants are using counterfeit documents and stolen IDs to get jobs in the area, according to the Beaufort County administrator. -- Gary Kubic said Monday that the county has conducted hundreds of audits of businesses and their hiring practices over the last several months...

hyperbolist - if you think ... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist - if you think the communists weren't a serious threat nor the Mohammedans today, well then you're beyond hope. There's not point in debating you.

You are kept free by better men than yourself. Keep on bloggin.....

I said that the communists ... (Below threshold)

I said that the communists were defeated (no more Big Bad Red Bogeyman to scare the retards with!), and that terrorists, Islamic or otherwise, pose less of a threat to Americans than the weather. Both of these statements are correct. You need to feel afraid of something, though, because you're a reactionary douche bag. You're a bilious, hateful little worm, who can only make sense of the world insofar as you have something abstract to snarl at. You're a bully, and, paradoxically, a pussy.

"Kept free"? Fuck you. World War II ended a long time ago.

By the way, TcP, you ignora... (Below threshold)

By the way, TcP, you ignorant asshole, the Know-Nothings were a group of people who held your beliefs, around a hundred years ago. They treated Italians and Jews the way you wish your country would treat Hispanics and Arabs. It was a specific comparison, not an insult (though I did make sure to insult you on numerous other occasions).

Get a library card, you putz.

In simpler ter... (Below threshold)

In simpler terms, people are different.

You have made that abundantly clear, TcP. Your monument to ignorance is summed up thus:

Caucasians, with Judeo-Christian and British traditions created and built this country.

They may have built the country that lives in your head, but not the one I live in. Here's a question for you, from one white man to another: Which ethnic group in the United States would be most infuriated by your comment above?

*Ahem*The Know-Not... (Below threshold)


The Know-Nothings were actually making themselves look stupid and evil 150 years ago, not 100. Apologies.

I know Nok Kells...she met ... (Below threshold)

I know Nok Kells...she met her husband while he served in a security role at the American Embassy in Beijing. They fell in love and were crazy about each other. When Rob returned to his home in St. Louis he remained in the navy serving as a recruiter. Upon returning he helped facilitate her and her children's LEGAL entry into the US. Just a few short weeks after their arrival, Rob and Nok were married. They had a very happy marriage while living in the suburbs of St. Louis. One day when riding his motorcycle he was hit and killed by a driver who didn't see him. This tragic accident devastated Nok and her children. The ONLY reason she faces possible deportation is because their marriage didn't last 2 full years. The law requiring a marriage last for 2 years was designed to prevent the abuse of immigration laws but it penalizes legitimate marriages simply due to the premature death of the American citizen. She married Rob in good faith and they were truly happy. Unfortunately he died just 8 months after they were married. Rob would NEVER have wanted his wife and step children deported, he loved them.
If you really want to do something to help Nok, her children and honor Robert Kells memory, contact your Senator's and Congressman and encourage the support of House Bill HR 6034 that will allow the INS to review the cases of these widows on a case by case basis. If passed, the widows who can prove they married their husbands in good faith will be allowed to stay legally in the US. The change will not help ILLEGAL immigrants, the only purpose is to end the "widow's penalty", so please support this legislation. This isn't a conservative or liberal issue, this is about doing what's right.

Thank you Mike for your per... (Below threshold)

Thank you Mike for your personal accounts of Rob and Nok. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Rob, but I have gotten to know Nok after the tragic accident. We have have spent many hours consoling each other and getting through the grief of losing a spouse. She is a very genuine, honest, and proper woman who is still very much in love with her late husband. Not only are her children established in America now (with school, family of loving in-laws, and friends), but her husband will always be here. She visits Rob's gave site very often to talk to him and she does not want to leave him. Their love story is true and very tragic.
Here are some personal examples of her personal ethics: Because she is unable to renew her driver's license, she has parked her mini-van since March and relies on friends and family for ALL of the errands it takes support and live as normally as possible with a family of two very active daughters. There are many illegal immigrants driving on our streets without driver's licenses, she would not even consider doing so. Regarding her status: I have told her, "You are very beautiful, there are a thousand of men out there that would be willing to marry you. If worse comes to worse, you can keep your family in the country that way." She has said, "No, I will only marry for love. I love Rob and I always will. He is my husband." I agree that laws are laws, but anytime we are witness to something so pure and innocent to turn so tragic, we each have a duty to stand up for one another and say, "That's not what this law was intended to do!"






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