Though the case about the attempted deportation of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the new book, John Lennon vs. The USA (Ankerwycke Books, August 7, 2016) took place with the expected media fanfare over 40 years ago when President Richard Nixon wanted them out of the country due to their politics, it is still relevant today. Immigration has become a political football between U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump, who wants to build a wall to prevent undocumented Mexican immigrants from coming into the country and a ban on Muslim immigrants coming from “dangerous” countries and Hillary Clinton who says we need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship.
This historic case was valiantly fought by noted New York immigration attorney Leon Wildes who works in New York City at the law firm he founded Wildes & Weinberg P.C.. Wildes set precedents in immigration law and the case was the framework for President Obama’s immigration policy which proposed protecting as many as five million illegal immigrants from deportation.
The cast of characters in the book include Fred Astaire, Jack Lemmon, Dick Cavett and a young Geraldo Rivera who came forth as character witnesses for the legendary power couple in this eagle-eyed look at the American justice system.
In its review The Washington Post said, “There is much to like in this book.” A humorous story about Wildes is that though he had heard of The Beatles, he had no idea that the couple he called “Jack Lemmon and Yoko Moto” had anything to do with the world’s most famous rock band.
Michael Wildes, who is now managing partner of Wildes’ law firm in New York and obviously idolizes his dad, wrote the forward to the book which begins with a quote from a smiling Lennon holding his new green card, “You can have your father back now” after he had monopolized much of his father’s time over the five-year case. Wildes, with the urging of clients, colleagues and Yoko herself, eventually wrote down the details of this case which has stunning relevance today.
The official book launch for John Lennon vs. The USA will take place on September 7 from 7-9 p.m. at the Cardozo School of Law at the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room at 55 Fifth Avenue (on the corner of 12th Street) in New York City. The event will include a discussion of the new book documenting the legal fight to keep John and Yoko from being deported as told by Leon Wildes, followed by a book party and signing.