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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GOOGLE FOUNDER GIVES BACK TO REFUGEE AGENCY

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This story really makes me happy. I just wrapped up a dozen years of service on the board of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the organization that helped my family and my wife's family immigrate to the US. Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, was a more recent beneficiary of the good work of HIAS and I've honored him as well as an Immigrant of the Day. Sergey's mom Eugenia is a lovely woman who is a HIAS board member with whom I've had the honor of getting to serve on committees. Recently, the Brins donated $1,000,000 to help HIAS in its work with immigrants, an enormous help in a tough economy.

Sergey recently blogged about his experiences as an immigrant:

In everyone's life, there are moments that they know will change
their future forever. I had such a moment thirty years ago today but at
the time I could never have imagined the magnitude of the impact. That
was the day my family first arrived in the United States.

The
journey to get here was challenging. Just applying to leave the Soviet
Union branded us with a scarlet letter -- my father lost his job and we
received visits from the police. However, after nine months in this
status we were able to make our way to Austria and then France where we
stayed for four months waiting for our American visas. With few real
possessions and no steady income, times were hard but there were people
who helped us all along the way. Finally, we landed in New York on
October 25th, 1979. Thanks to many organizations and individuals, we
were able to start life anew in this land.

It
is impossible for me to overstate the opportunity this country has
given me. In many ways, the fortune I have enjoyed with Google
exemplifies the American dream, but to me that is just the tip of the
iceberg. Reflecting upon my life, I have many basic freedoms that my
parents did not -- the ability to pursue my interests in school and
university, the choices in jobs, the freedom to live in the place of my
choosing, and ultimately the ability to pursue my own enterprise.

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Comments

  1. Alix's Avatar
    What a story. But I am sure there is someone saying "He took aar jawb!"
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