john lennon’s birthday

The late John Lennon’s birthday was October 9th.  He would have been 69.  And though we can’t go back in time to change his fate, my father, Leon Wildes, can hold his head high for being able to help John stay in the city he loved most –NYC.

Wildes & Weinberg represented John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1972, during what turned into a five-year deportation battle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Though at the time John’s drug conviction in England in 1968 was thought to be the reason the U.S. wanted him deported, it turns out that the power he had with young people – combined with his activism – was the raison d’être. After all, the 1972 presidential election would be the first in which 18-year-olds could vote.

In John Lennon v. U.S., the court ruled in John’s favor.  Yoko Ono was in labor when John called her to relay the good news and I am certain she remembers this day very clearly. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy and John called my father the next morning to give HIM the good news.

Post-9/11, the immigration battle rages stronger than ever, but Lennon’s win is proof that miracles happen every day.  My job would be meaningless if I couldn’t help people gain citizenship to be with their families, make a living or start life anew.

Happy Birthday, John.



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