Saturday--October 5
, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 388
Ejecting A Father Of Vigilance
"No!"  "No!"  "No!

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, October 5--When my wife and I were in the 16-acre tomb of Ground Zero on September 11, 2002, bidding farewell to photographer Bill Biggart who died taking photos of the heroic attempts to save 25,000 people from the World Trade Center, I missed hearing the name of Tatiana Ryzhov.   

         On that memorial, sad day, as the cello sang mournful notes from its strings, the loudspeakers issuing a final salute to more than 2,800 victims of Nine Eleven, the names blended into one another.   They resonated off the 60-foot walls of earth, carved down to the bedrock upon which the Twin Towers were built.    There was an odd smell in the air--of decayed earth, motor oil from the huge cranes and heavy earth-moving equipment, mixed with the scent of roses people carried to place on the gravesites of their loved ones--a final tribute to a moment of infamy.

       I didn't know about Tatiana Ryzhov on that day, when tears fell at seven miles per hour from the eyes of family members, christening the soil with their sadness, blessing it with their hope that they rested in eternal peace.   I didn't know if Vasily Ryzhov, the husband of Tatiana, or their two children, Alexei, 15 and Danila, 9, were present, bidding goodbye to their mother and Vasily's wife.

       The 36-year-old Tatiana worked for the British firm Regus, located on the 93rd floor of the south tower.  She had applied for her "green card," and also for her children.  Her older son was born in Moscow, but her daughter was born in the United States giving her automatic citizenship.    Her green card was approved for herself and her children.   Next on her agenda was to petition the INS for her husband to receive his green card.
       The Terrorist attack severed that option.
       In the aftermath, the INS ruled that Vasily Ryzhov didn't belong in the United States.   He was denied a residence permit, banned from holding a job, and enjoined to leave the United States after paying a $5,000-dollar fine for violating the visa regime.   His son and daughter, however, were allowed to stay in the country--minus, their father, minus their mother.
       A contractor, Ryzhov isn't optimistic about being granted residency in the United States.   He was quoted in Pravda, the Russian central newspaper, on October 1 of this year as saying:  "What can be expected from a department (INS) which half a year after the terrorist attacks extended the American visas of terrorist hijackers, while expelling from the country the father of two children left motherless after September 11?"

      Ryzhov is a refugee from Tbilisi, Georgia  He has no desire to go to Russia or return to Georgia.  Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, which sought it independence after the collapse of communism.
       Catch 22 applies to Ryzhov.   The INS said they would grant him a green card if he was married to a green card holder, Pravda reported, however, since his wife is dead, the INS ruled he has no reason to be in the United States.  
       His lawyers are pressing for a review of the decision within 30 days.
       Ward Cossman, in a guest editorial supporting Ryzhov and published in the Russian News Network,  attacks the hypocrisy of the INS in denying the father of two motherless children the right to live in America.   Cossman says, "Mr. Ryzhov is, in fact, a refugee from a war-torn land racked by poverty and political instability, brings with him a different culture and language, history, traditions and customs contributing to the cult of diversity, and traveled to the U.S., like generations before him, for a better life.  Perhaps we are seeing the true colors that so many have long suspected of U.S. immigration discriminatory, unfair and tilted heavily in favor of 'acceptable' immigrants."
       As a Voice of Vigilance, I find it unfair to deny a father the right to raise his children in America, especially since one of the children was born here, and has established the "natural rights" of any citizen.
       It also seems to be the families of those killed by the Terrorists on Nine Eleven have assumed a higher level of "citizenship" than most others.   They bear the sacrifice of their loved one's death.   

       If there was a case for reconsideration, I would think Vasily Ryzhov's would be placed on the top of the pile.   If those who died that fateful day of September 11, 2001, were indeed Symbols of Vigilance, then the light that shines from their angelic wings must first fall upon their families who bear the incredible loss of a loved one.

       That light also gives defacto "citizenship," in my opinion, for it is drenched in blood--the blood of hope and belief in America.
       Tatiana Ryzhov and her husband came to America to find a better life.   Tatiana paid the ultimate price for that right to a better life.   
        To penalize her husband, the Father of Vigilance for her two children, by sending him back to a country he fled, seems as Terroristic as the Terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Center.   As they sought to destroy the fabric of America, the INS may be unconsciously appeasing the Terrorists appetite to induce Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into society by booting out the father of the motherless children.

           Since Terrorism comes in many forms, the INS ought well to think through the case of Vasily Ryzhov.   They ought to grant him a green card solely on the grounds he is a Father of Vigilance, and deserves, as any patriot, the full and unbridled rights of those who made America such a great nation.
          To eject him from this country would be, without question, another ash falling from the World Trade Center, and cause 2,800 tears to fall from the Sentinels of Vigilance who stand for Courage, Conviction and Right Actions above Ground Zero.

Go To:  Oct. 4--Global Economic Vigilance

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