In order for those living undocumented in the Los Angeles area to become citizens of the United States, it is necessary for applicants to have the required documents that validate their identity. This includes things like birth certificates or records and permanent record cards, also known as green cards. But what happens when a person does not have access to this kind of information when applying for citizenship?

This is the question with which one couple was faced when they began the process of applying for a green card. The husband was born in a German concentration camp in 1945. His parents were able to take him and migrate to Canada two years later.

Because they did not have the proper birth documents needed in order to apply for a green card, the couple was turned down. This made the wife begin to dig deeper and contact authorities at a local museum at the concentration camp where the man was born. Her efforts paid off when the authorities were able to give her a document outlining the names of the German survivors. This list included the man’s name and those of his parents.

The man, who is currently a professor at New York University, and his wife became naturalized U.S. citizens on September 17.

If you lack the proper documentation to obtain a green card, you may wish to contact an immigration attorney. A lawyer may be able to help you track down the necessary documents and aid you in working toward your goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Source: Washington Square News, “NYU professor reflects on naturalization process,” Utpala Menon, Oct. 10, 2013