Jewish Journal


July 8, 2011

So an undocumented Jew immigrates to the United States ...



If you feel like you’ve read before The Forward story about the unspoken of illegal immigrant—undocumented Jews—that’s probably because you saw a similar story in The Jewish Journal in 2006.

If you haven’t seen either, here’s an excerpt of The Forward’s story, which focuses on living “in the shadows of U.S. society.”

Yamzi Rosen has been living in the United States for nearly nine years. Rosen said she and her family moved to Brooklyn from Israel after she lost her son to a violent murder in her hometown of Netanya. The family hoped the distance would help them overcome the tragedy. The seven family members crammed into a one-bedroom apartment, and began working odd jobs for which papers were not required.

But the American dream turned out to be hard to achieve. A lawyer dealing with their request for obtaining a green card, which grants legal residence in the United States, was arrested for fraud. Meanwhile, a temporary work visa expired, and Rosen was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. ...

The Rosen family is reluctant to request any kind of welfare assistance, fearing that it will hamper their hopes to achieve a green card in the future. But most difficult, Rosen said in a recent phone conversation with the Forward, is not being able to leave the United States and visit Israel, since being undocumented ensures that she would not be allowed back in. “I just want to see my son’s grave,” she said. “Is there anything worse in life than a mother who cannot visit her son’s grave?”

It’s a good read, and always an interesting story, even five years later. Read on here.

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