Skip to main content

From Refugee to Riches in 30 Years

Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Sergey who lived in a faraway land known as the Soviet Union. He lived in Central Moscow in a tiny apartment with his mother, his father and his grandmother.

Sergey’s father Michael was very smart, especially in math and physics, and always dreamed of being an astronomer. However, because Sergey and his family were Jewish, they were often denied many opportunities; and so his father was not allowed to study physics or attend graduate school to achieve his dreams.

One day, Michael had to attend a conference in Warsaw, Poland, for his job. In Poland, he met dozens of other mathematicians like him, from places like France, England and the United States. Michael came back to his family and Moscow and said to them, “We must leave the Soviet Union and look for a better life somewhere else.” His wife agreed, and Michael applied for exit visas in order to leave the country.

Once the government found out that Michael had applied for visas for himself and his family to leave the country, they fired him from his job. Michael and his wife took temporary jobs while they waited to receive their visas. A group known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) helped the family. Michael and his wife took turns watching young Sergey. In the meantime, Michael decided to teach himself computer programming. Sergey watched, even though he was only six years old.
HIAS helped the family in many ways. They helped the family understand the process of leaving the country, helped them prepare their visa applications, paid for their tickets out of the Soviet Union, and even gave them money to help them start their new life. Then one day, about nine months later, the visas arrived and Sergey and his family left the Soviet Union as refugees.

Sergey and his family ended up in the United States in the state of Maryland. Sergey went to school and studied a lot. He wanted to study computer science and math, just like his father.

While he was in graduate school, Sergey made a friend named Larry. They decided to start a business together. They wanted to create the biggest, best search engine for the internet that anyone had ever seen. They named their company “Google.”
Google became one of the most successful companies ever in the United States, and Sergey became very rich. Today he is the 26th richest man in the entire world, and he is worth over $12 billion!

Last week, Sergey was thinking about coming to the United States as a refugee. He remembered how full of hope his family had been in leaving their country and starting a new life. And he remembered how much HIAS had helped his family. He wanted to help other families like his start over and have opportunities to do great things.

Sergey and his wife decided to give $1 million to HIAS. The Chief Executive of HIAS, Mr. Gideon Aronoff, thanked him and said, “one of the most important things that Sergey Brin’s gift signifies, not just for HIAS but more importantly for the nation, is the possibilities inherent in being a refugee. The debate over immigration has frequently become so bitter that an element has been lost: refugees are as varied in their skill sets and contributions as the rest of us.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …