Jews Downplay Ties to Immigration Advocate Roy Naim After Child Porn Arrest

Activist Cited as 'Jewish Face' of Immigration Reform Battle

yermi brenner

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published September 27, 2013, issue of October 04, 2013.
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Naim, who is partially deaf, moved to the United States from Israel with his family when he was 4. The Naims overstayed their visas and settled in the country. He remains an undocumented immigrant. Naim was the subject of a Forward profile earlier this year when he emerged as a high-profile advocate for undocumented immigrants. The profile described Naim as “the Jewish face of the immigration reform struggle.”

Naim did media rounds in June promoting a game created by the website DoSomething.org, meant to dramatize the plight of undocumented immigrants.

Richard A. Finkel, Naim’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

According to a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Brooklyn on Sept. 18, investigators with an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security pursuing child exploitation cases found Naim by tracing an email address that had received child pornography from a person in Louisiana. That email address, brooklynfun123@gmail.com, was traced to Naim’s home. Officers from DHS and the New York Police Department searched Naim’s house September 16, according to the complaint. That day, Naim posted two public messages on his Twitter account. At 2:04 p.m., Naim Tweeted: “Sometimes you try so hard and still get slapped harder. Sometimes you just wanna give it up. It is painful. It hurts.” Four minutes, later Naim wrote: “Giving it up….”

According to the complaint, Naim told officers during the search of his home that he had viewed and downloaded child pornography for years, and that his laptop contained child pornography.

Naim’s release was allowed on the condition that he surrender his passport, remain at his home except for religious services or other approved activities, not use a computer and not communicate or be in contact with anyone under 18, except in the presence of that person’s guardian.

It’s unclear how the allegations against Naim will affect his immigration status.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathan-kazis@forward.com or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis


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