Argus Leader: Thune and Herseth to the Rescue
The Argus has a nice story today on Lisa Richardson (Who I think worked for Pressler at one time) who had gotten stuck in China with a child she was adopting. When it looked like she, and many other couples adopting children were going to be stranded, Congresswoman Herseth's staff lent a hand, and Senator Thune brought out the big guns to get the families home:
They were supposed to return to the United States with their new additions on April 14 and 15, but a problem with the State Department computer used to issue visas to the adopted children caused a several-day backup for nearly 100 families.Read all of the story here at the Argus Leader.
So Richardson started calling people.
She started with Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s staff member in charge of immigration, Mark Gerhardt, who had helped the Richardsons expedite their Orphan Child/Immediate Relative petition in February so they could travel to China.
Gerhardt made the State Department’s China desk aware of the visa problem.
Thune, meanwhile, went right to the boss.
“I called (Secretary of State) Condi Rice’s chief of staff and said ‘I’ve got an emergency problem here. Can you help?’” Thune said.
Richardson said the stranded American parents had been told by U.S. officials once the computer problem was fixed, which would take several days, the State Department could only issue a maximum 50 visas a day.
That got changed after Thune intervened.
“All 96 families got visas,” Richardson says.