Maryville College documentary premier highlights Ferschke immigration struggle

The story of Michael Ferschke’s life, death and how his wife has struggled with federal immigration laws is the subject of a documentary that premiered at Maryville College recently.

The national premier of the Brave New Films documentary “Second Battle” is about two military spouses fighting to stay in the country for which their husbands proudly served. A portion of the film focuses on Ferschke and his widow, Hota.

The movie, Welcoming Tennessee program coordinator Elias Feghali said, targets laws that split military spouses and others from their families. Welcoming Tennessee is a collaboration of Tennesseans who work to increase understanding of immigrants in Tennessee.

Feghali said Ferschke gave his life serving in Iraq in August of 2008. “Due to a strict antiquated provision in immigration law, his wife, Hota, and their 1-year-old son will have to leave the country in January, despite the vocal appeal of the Ferschke family and many others in the Maryville community,” Feghali said. “A private bill is currently moving through Congress that would keep Hota and her son in Maryville. But without a change in the law, more families will face a similar fight in the future. This documentary is the story of that struggle and about the impact a broken immigration system can have on American families.”

This week, Sgt. Ferschke’s mother, Robin Ferschke, Hota and 9-month-old Mikey traveled to Washington to speak before the U.S. Congress concerning the immigration laws and at an immigration rally.

The premier was Sept. 24 in Lawson Auditorium on Maryville College campus. To watch a trailer of the film, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYck9oGDga0.

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