New York

Construction Worker Funeral Caught in Immigration Fight

What to Know

  • The family of a construction worker who died in Manhattan are fighting to get the man's wife into the U.S. for his funeral
  • The State Department denied her request for an emergency visa, saying they believe she won't leave
  • The 33-year-old had been living in New York for years, where he worked at construction sites to support his wife and son back in China

The heartbroken family of a construction worker who fell to his death in Manhattan are fighting with the U.S. government in an effort to get the man’s wife and son permission to enter the country for his funeral.

Jucong Wu fell nine stories down an elevator shaft at an East 24th Street construction site on Tuesday. The fall took the life of a man described as the rock of his family.

Wu, 33, moved to Brooklyn from China years ago, spending his days at construction sites, working to build a better life for his wife and son back in China.

His grieving sister and parents told News 4 that they don’t believe his soul will rest until his wife sees him one last time. But the family says the State Department denied her request for an emergency visa to attend the funeral.

The family’s attorney, Steven Gershowitz, said Wu’s wife has been strong for the sake of her son, but he says the decision by the State Department has left her shattered.

“When she went in to get what she thought was a formality -- for her to be able to come to bury her husband -- and she was told ‘No,’ she lost it. She was inconsolable,” Gershowitz said. “She’s being denied the opportunity to say goodbye to her husband.”

Gershowitz says the U.S. government fears his wife won’t leave the U.S. after his funeral. Wu was a legal resident of the U.S., as are his sister and parents.

Funeral plans are now on hold. The family says they’re not ready to say goodbye until Wu’s wife and son are there with them.

Gershowitz says they’re hoping someone in the State Department or at the consulate will take a second look at the case and realize “this is truly a travesty of justice.”

A State Department spokesman said the department does not comment on individual cases.

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