Friday, June 5

My Great-Grandmother Could Have Been An Undocumented Immigrant

My grandpa and his nuclear family fled Europe during the Holocaust.

Everyone but his mother got immigrant visas--the consulate claimed to be out of them by the time she was ready.

His mother sweet-talking her way past an administrative assistant to see the consul in person and ask him for a different type of visa, and walking out w/ an immigrant visa, is a family legend.

My grandpa condemns immigration "the wrong way." But I'll bet he's never really asked himself if his mother would've seriously left her family and gone back to Europe upon the expiration of her visa had the consul given her the non-immigrant visa she claimed to seek rather than an immigrant visa.

My bet is that she wouldn't have shared his strong condemnation of immigration "the wrong way" if she'd had to decide whether or not to do it herself. And that he might not feel that way today, either.

Grandpa's too old to pick that fight with, and I love him a lot, so it's nice to get it off my chest here.

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