Reproduced from The Daily News dated Tuesday, October 15, 2002

by Michael J. Wildes, Mayor, City of Englewood          

2-10 N. Van Brunt Street                  

Enlgewood , NJ 07631

201.871.6666

BY AUSTIN FENNER DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER                                             

A shattered dream revived 911 spouse can stay in U.S.

Russian immigrant Vasily Ryjov will be able to pick up the pieces of his slain wife's shattered American dream.

 

The Immigration and Naturalization Service plans to work toward granting the illegal immigrant a green card, helping him fulfill his wife's hopes of citizenship for her family, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced yesterday.

"The effects [of 9/11] are still here," said Ryjov, 38, who was surrounded by his sons Alex, 15, and Daniel, 9. "I'm just here to finish what she started."

"When you have news like this, it gives you strength. It gives you stamina," he added. "She came . . . hoping that the kids have a better future."

Ryjov's wife, 36-year-old computer specialist Tatiana Ryjov, was killed in the twin towers Sept. 11.

She had moved to the
United States in 1989 on a temporary visa with her oldest son and, after winning a green card lottery months before she died last year, was on track to become a citizen.

Her husband followed her as a visitor in 1991 and stayed in the country illegally with his family.

Weeks after the terrorist attack and his wife's death, Ryjov was faced with deportation to the former Soviet
republic of Georgia because of his alien status.

Schumer was able to smooth the bureaucratic red tape and help the grieving family stay in the
U.S.

"With all they've been through, deporting a family who had suffered such a loss in the
World Trade Center attacks would be unconscionable," Schumer said. "Part of their lives was shattered on Sept. 11. It would be a shame to shatter their dream of remaining in America ."

Patriot Act clause

Ryjov's immigration lawyer, Michael Wildes, said his client would have been forced to leave his sons behind in America or take them back to the former Soviet Union.

Alex was granted a green card last week. Daniel, a third-grader, was born in the
U.S.

Ryjov is able to stay here with his family because of a clause in the Patriot Act that allows immigrant spouses of 9/11 victims to file for green cards, Wildes said.

Asked what it means to be an American, Ryjov said: "It's about freedom, safety and opportunity in life. You have no fear. The former
Soviet Union use to be driven by fear. Here you don't have that fear."

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