GARLAND, Texas — Julie Hysenaj of Garland and her husband Arben married five years ago, but for most of their marriage they have been apart.
Their dreams as a couple have been interrupted by an immigration hurdle.
“Every time, I come home I see his picture,” said Mrs. Hysenaj. “We are supposed to be together.”
The telephone is their only connection.
“It’s always good to hear his voice. He lets me call no matter what day, no matter what time,” Hysenaj said. “Just calling him up to hear his voice, it keeps me going.”
His voice provides the motivation she needs to keep fighting for her husband’s return to the United States.
Arben Hysenaj is currently in Kosovo. The undocumented immigrant returned to his homeland after his application for political asylum was denied.
Lawyers advised him to return to Kosovo to re-apply for legal status after he married his wife, who is U.S. citizen. But his application for an immigrant visa was also rejected. This time, a section of the law categorized him as a “terrorist.”
“I was shocked,” Hysena said. “I thought, ‘This has got to be a mistake.’”
The denial referred to a section of immigration law that was strengthened after the September 11 attacks in 2001. It bars those who engaged in terrorist activity from entering the U.S. or getting any immigration benefits.
The provision’s definition is so broad, it can include people not normally associated with terrorism.
Arben served two months in the Kosovo Liberation Army.
“The U.S. sent troops there,” Hysenaj said. “The U.S. trained the military and assisted them to get their independence.”
The Department of Homeland Security has the power to provide relief. The agency has approved exemptions that have allowed more than 14,500 cases to move forward. Other special waivers are being considered.
DHS would not provide News 8 with the latest on the KLA waiver, but agency spokesman Peter Boogaard offered this statement:
“DHS is committed to protecting the security of the United States. Exemptions to certain inadmissibility bars are authorized following an interagency process that weighs all relevant national security and humanitarian concerns.”
For Hysenaj, the waiver wouldn’t guarantee any immigration benefit, but it would give her husband an opportunity to re-apply for an immigrant visa.
It is the couple’s last hope, and Julie Hysenaj offered this plea to immigration officials:
“I’m begging you with all my heart… please sign that waiver so I can get this processed and get Arben home.”
Hat tip to Julia Gorin via What? US Gov: KLA=Terrorist, who notes:
But he is home. Home in his beloved Kosovo. Worth fighting for, huh.
Meanwhile, is there a tacit understanding in official circles that there was after all something “terrorist” about Kosovo’s ‘non-Muslimy’ “freedom-fighters”? This excerpt from a May 1999 Washington Times article would indicate there is:
Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden…
The KLA members, embraced by the Clinton administration…were trained in secret camps in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere, according to newly obtained intelligence reports.
The reports also show that the KLA has enlisted Islamic terrorists — members of the Mujahideen –as soldiers in its ongoing conflict against Serbia, and that many already have been smuggled into Kosovo to join the fight.
ALBANIAN MILITANTS’ TRAINING CAMP OPERATES IN U.S.-CONTROLLED KOSOVO (Pravda, Oct. 16, 2001)
A training camp of Albanian militants functions near the village of Ropotovo, close to Kosovska Kamenica, in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, which is controlled by the American force, sources from the Russian peacekeeping force in Kosovo reported on Tuesday.
According to them, the camp is now preparing 50 Afghan and Algerian mujaheddin, led by Zaiman Zawahiri. He is supposed to be a brother of one of the closest associates of international terrorist Osama bin Laden.
This camp prepares militants for terrorist formations in Kosovo and Macedonia. Their “instructors” are former Albanian officers which in 1991-1992 deserted from the Yugoslav army.
And there’s this from Scott Taylor’s “Here’s Hoping the World Comes to its Senses on Kosovo”:
[T]he U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization because of its tactic of targeting innocent Serb civilians in order to provoke retaliation from Serbian troops.
So it seems that, for a moment, the Serbs counted as people too. Which is how Julie Hysenaj married a terrorist.
And how many Syrian “freedom fighters” will wash up on American shores in the very near future…married to American women ?