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July 15, 1988 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-07-15

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JULY 15, 1988 / 1 AV 5748

Ban On Refugees Draws Ire


Staff Writer

Representatives of major
American Jewish organizations have
launched an extensive lobbying cam-
paign to guarantee that the United
States will continue issuing refugee
visas to Soviet citizens who wish to
Jewish leaders began planning
the campaign on Tuesday — one week
after the American Embassy in
Moscow said it would temporarily sus-
pend issuing visas to Soviet citizens.
The suspension, ordered by the State
Department, went into effect last
week and is expected to continue
through October 1.
Officials of the United Jewish Ap-
peal, the National Conference on
Soviet Jewry, the American Jewish
Committee, the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society (HIAS), the American
Jewish Congress and others said they
will lobby government officials to find
money for the refugee program.
State Department spokesmen
blamed the suspension on financial
limitations, explaining that the 1988
fiscal budget had not allowed for the

Born out of


Jewish city

country clubs

remain a haven


wealthy Jews

large numbers of Soviet citizens now
seeking refugee status in the United
States. They said funding needed for
increased refugees will most likely be
addressed in the upcoming hearings
for the 1989-1990 fiscal budget.
To illustrate the massive increase
in refugees seeking U.S. visas, one
State Department official pointed to
figures released for last month. In
June, the State Department received
more than 2,000 requests for refugee
visas — the same number granted for
the 1987 fiscal year. It costs the ad-

ministration between $1,000 and
$1,500 to resettle each immigrant.
Relatively few Soviet Jews are
granted refugee status in the United
States — the majority come here on
Israeli visas. Yet the figures have
been increasing over the past several
months. In January, 11 Soviet Jews
applied for U.S. visas. Last month,
that figure jumped to 60.
Soviet Jewry activists said more
is at stake than a handful of Jews now
trying to enter this country on U.S.
Continued on Page 18

AIPAC Backfires
On Middle East Arms


Israel Correspondent

The legendary power of the pro-
Israeli lobby in Washington, the
America-Israel Public Affairs Com-
mittee (AIPAC), appears to have
seriously backfired.
According to sources in
Jerusalem, AIPAC — regarded as one

of the most effective lobby groups on
Capitol Hill — has unwittingly shot
Israel in the foot by indiscriminately
opposing United States military sales
to moderate Arab states.
This practice, say the Israeli
sources, has led countries like Saudi
Arabia to seek arms from other
sources, particularly China and Bri-

Continued on Page 20

Vested interest in JELS.


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