CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago area family has begun a new chapter of life.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, for the first time in 22 years, their immigration status is no longer in doubt.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports
Tony Wasilewski and his wife, Janina, are both from Poland. But they met in Chicago and married in 1993. They later had a son, Brian.
They took different roads to try to stay here as immigrants.
Janina says it was bad advice from her lawyer that resulted in her deportation to Poland four years ago – despite the fact that her husband was in the country legally, and she was a married legal resident with a son who was a U.S. citizen.
“My American dream was broken four years ago when my family was separated by deportation,” she said. “Most families are not as lucky as mine. They are separated and never reunited.”
On Monday, after U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and others worked for a visa waiver, Janina and the couple’s 10-year-old son walked off a plane from Warsaw at O’Hare International Airport to join Tony.
“I feel like the luckiest man alive,” Tony Wasilewski said. “With my hand and my heart, I am proud to say that I am an American citizen.”
Earlier this year, Tony and Janina Wasilewski were the subjects of the documentary, “Tony and Janina’s American Wedding,” depicting their three-year battle to be reunited.