Terror-widow 'deport' fear
Kid-visit woe after Mumbai
By JOHN DOYLE • New York Post
Frumet Teitelbaum, 37, an Israeli citizen, was stopped by US Customs and Border Protection agents at Kennedy Airport after flying in from Israel on Feb. 5.
Since her husband's murder, Frumet, a religious-studies teacher, had been regularly traveling without problems from her home in Israel to the US to visit her children, ages 2 to 14, who are staying with her husband's family in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The kids, all American citizens, are being schooled in New York.
But Frumet's frequent travels finally raised a red flag with Customs officials, who cited her for overusing her visitor's visa, said her lawyer, Michael Wildes.
Frumet's valid travel visa was consequently stamped with restrictions limiting her time in the United States and making it difficult for her to extend her stay or secure residency here, Wildes said.
She must leave the country again early next month. Otherwise, she faces possible deportation, authorities said.
Immigration and Customs officials said they could not discuss specifics of Teitelbaum's case because of privacy laws.
Teitelbaum was living in Jerusalem with her husband, Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, 37, in 2008 when he traveled to Mumbai, India, for his work as a mashgiach, a supervisor and inspector of kosher foods.
The rabbi was studying in the Chabad Center, a Jewish religious retreat, when Muslim terrorists attacked the compound and slaughtered him and seven others. The attack was part of a coordinated onslaught throughout the city that lasted 60 hours and claimed the lives of 179 people.
One Customs official said agents have the authority to approve or deny entry into the country and impose restrictions on a case-by-case basis.
Wildes said he plans to bring a race-against-the-clock appeal to Immigration Court and fight for her under a post-9/11 law that gives the families of terrorist victims the right to a green card and permanent residency.
"Nobody in her situation should be worried about legal affairs or papers, and should not be treated in this fashion. I have faith that the immigration authorities will do the right thing," Wildes said.