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Saturday, 5 October, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
WTC widower 'told to leave US'
Vasiliy Ryzhov and his youngest son, Daniel
Vasiliy Ryzhov must bring up their two sons
The husband of a Russian woman who died in the 11 September attacks faces deportation from the US - despite the fact that the couple's two children can legally live in America.

Vasiliy Ryzhov, whose wife Tatyana worked on the 93rd floor of the south tower of New York's World Trade Center, has been told he must leave the country because of alleged visa irregularities, Russian TV reported.


The immigration services simply break people's destinies

Lawyer Michael Wildes

His sons, aged 15 and nine, now face the prospect of being separated from their father only a year after losing their mother in such tragic circumstances, the TV said.

Tatyana Ryzhova's first thought on seeing a Boeing 767 crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center was to telephone her husband to tell him not to worry about her.

Minutes later, the second airliner crashed into the south tower, just a few floors below where Mrs Ryzhova was working.

Since then, Mr Ryzhov - a refugee from Georgia - has struggled to bring up his sons on his own and to help them overcome the trauma of the 11 September events.

The youngest son, Daniel, has become especially dependent on his father and cannot bear to be separated from him.

"I am always with my Daddy. I even sleep in the same room with him," he said in the TV report.

Fresh blow

In September 2002, only a few days before the first anniversary of the attacks, Mr Ryzhov received a letter from the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

It informed him that his green card application had been turned down because he had earlier provided false information when applying for a work certificate.

Tatyana Ryzhova
Tatyana Ryzhova had already won the right to abode

He was also told that he would have to pay a $5,000 fine for infringement of immigration regulations.

Mrs Ryzhova had been awarded a green card just before she died, and the couple's older son, Alex, has a green card of his own.

Daniel was born in the US and so is an American citizen.

Mr Ryzhov told the TV that his sons should not have to go through this fresh trauma so soon after the death of their mother.

"The children have lost their mother and now they are losing their father," he said.

Broken lives

His lawyer, Michael Wildes, said the US authorities' handling of many immigration applications arising from the 11 September attacks had been marked by a lack of sensitivity.

"These were not just strange but frequently outrageous mistakes," he said.

"The immigration services simply break people's destinies."

Mr Wildes said he intended to appeal to the US Congress over Mr Ryzhov's case.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

13 Sep 02 | Americas
23 Aug 02 | Americas
29 Jun 02 | South Asia
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