Immigrant widowed in NY ferry crash gets residency

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2009 7:29 PM

A Jamaican woman whose American husband died in the 2003 Staten Island ferry crash has been granted permanent residency after years of fighting to stay in the country.

Lawyer Brent Renison says the government approved permanent residency for Osserritta Robinson on Tuesday and she is dropping her appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama signed a law in October overturning a rule known as the "widow's penalty" that made foreigners subject to expulsion if their American spouses died within two years of marriage and before their applications for permanent residency had been approved.

Renison says the government is finalizing details of a class action settlement affecting hundreds of others.