Bookshelf of old copies of J. Previous names of this publication have included Emanu-El and Jewish Bulletin. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Previous names of this publication have included Emanu-El and The Jewish Bulletin. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

When the INS threatened a 2-year-old Jewish girl with deportation

August 12, 1955

A Philadelphia taxi driver, Sanford Jacobs, 21, and his wife, Louise, have been notified by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that they will have to take their 2-year-old daughter, Lesley, out of the country because she is an alien in the eyes of the law.

From August 12, 1955

Jacobs, who joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950, spent three of his four years in service at Burtonwood Air Force Base in Lancashire, England. He and his wife were married there in 1952. Lesley was born at the base hospital Nov. 22, 1952. A second child, Marvin, also was born there on January 15, 1954.

In March 1954, the couple came to the United States. Jacobs obtained a visa for his wife and a passport for his children from the American consul in Liverpool. He was discharged last October from the Air Force.

Under the immigration law in existence before December 1952, a child born abroad is a citizen if the father had resided in the U.S. for five years after the age of 16. Jacobs was only 19 when his daughter was born. This technicality was dropped from the law before his second child was born — hence, Marvin is not affected.

Informed legal sources in Philadelphia, anxious to help the young Jewish couple, have advised them to take Lesley across the border to Canada, and return with a visa.

From the J. Archive is a weekly feature. Our 1967 and 1904 archives are available online. To find out how you can help us complete digitization of our archive, email J. Editor Sue Fishkoff.