Officials halt swearing-in based on LODD
HOUSTON, Texas – Jessica Stavinoha’s loss of her firefighter husband Kevin Stavinoha hurts twice as officials halt Jessica from becoming a U.S. citizen.
KTRK reports that Stavinoha was preparing to be sworn in, the culmination of years of work after coming to the United States from Mexico as a teenager, when she was prohibited from participating in the ceremony.
Stavinoha told KTRK that when she checked in at the service, with her husband’s coworkers, friends, and Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services clerk told her that since her husband had died her application was no longer valid.
Explanation of the law considered her husband’s line of duty death in September as an annulment of their marriage.
Local USCIS officials tried to gain a variation but were unsuccessful.
Stavinoha and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association made calls to Congressman Dan Crenshaw but were unsuccessful.
KTRK’s 13 Investigates also contacted U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and had similar results.
Stavinoha received her green card in 2015 and is currently listed as a permanent legal resident.
She must reapply for citizenship based on her own merits, repeating the lengthy process.