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December 14, 1990 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

must show proof that a spon-
sor will provide food, shelter
and medical care for two
years.
Because the government
reviews requests for asylum
case by case, it does not es-
tablish a quota on the
number of persons to be ap-
proved as asylees each year.
The INS has charted a
significant increase in the
number of asylum cases. In
FY 1989, it received 243 re-
quests for asylum from
Soviet citizens; in FY 1990,
it received 1,043 requests.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid
Society (BIAS) officials said
they are aware of 500 re-
quests for asylum from
Soviet Jews this past year.
Rena and her daughter,
Ludmilla, are among the
Soviet Jews in Detroit who
opted to come on temporary
visas, with the intention of
filing for asylum status.
They say their situation in
the Soviet Union was
critical. They feared for their
lives. They received letters
demanding "Why are you
still here? Why do you eat
our bread? Go to Israel!";
they were called "kikes"
and found anti-Semitic
leaflets on their car wind-
shield; Ludmilla was con-
stantly terrorized at school.
Their American relatives
panicked hearing such
reports and advised Rena
and Ludmilla to come here
on temporary visas.
"We are children of Holo-
caust survivors; we know
what persecution means,"
said Rena's cousin, Betty,
who lives in West Bloom-
field. "We felt it was our
responsibility to get our
family out."
Now, Rena's and Lud-
milla's American relatives
are completely responsible
for them, and are angry that
local Jewish services provide
little assistance.
"We have a finite number
of dollars and we have a fi-
nancial commitment to the
refugees," said Sandy
Hyman, director of the local
Resettlement Services.
Resettlement Services
does help asylees, immi-
grants and parolees with
emergency medical assis-
tance and home furnishings
and directs them to lawyers.
"But we just don't have
enough dollars to give them
cash," Ms. Hyman said.
Furthermore, Jews in the
Soviet Union have the op-
tion of deciding for which
status and to which country
they will apply. Which
means asylees have made
the decision not to go to
Israel, where they would be
granted automatic citizen-

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