BOSTON (CBS) – Thawan Farrell, 11, and her mom look at pictures and talk about the memories of all the good times as a family.
Thawan points out her mom and dad in one photo. It was from one of their many visits to the United States. Tim Farrell was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs. He settled in Thailand following his service.
“It makes me sad to hear what happened to my dad, and all these things I am going through,” said Thawan.
Tim moved his fiancée, Bao, and 11-year-old daughter to the U.S. over the summer. He bought them a house in Derry, NH.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t tell us he was sick,” said Janice Moro, Tim’s sister.
Tim passed away the day after Christmas from liver cancer. His sister, Janice, made him a promise.
“Tim wanted his family here. I need to make it happen,” said Janice.
The couple didn’t finish the necessary legal marriage paperwork. Attorney Kari Hong, is an expert in immigration law at Boston College said without the marriage license Bao will have to go back to Thailand.
“We promised him as a family his daughter was going to stay here. How can you ask a mother to leave her daughter,” said Janice.
Thawan is a U.S. Citizen. Legally, she has to be 21 to petition immigration for her mom to stay. Bao does not have any other blood relatives here.
“I would want to stay here, but I don’t want her to go, so I don’t know,” said Thawan.
“Too soon for us. I don’t know what to do,” said Bao.
Janice has written to everyone she can think of, but as of now BAO waits on an immigration extension allowing her only a few more months.
“My brother was a U.S. Navy SEAL, veteran, high-honored, decorated. Who more deserves it more than his daughter to be able to have her mom stay with her,” said Janice.