Immigration Could Put Jews In Bind With Latinos

As country’s Hispanic population surges, possible friction ahead as community edging away from charged issue.

Washington Correspondent

Even before last week’s census data showing Latinos have become the largest — and fastest-growing — minority in the United States, Jewish groups were scrambling to beef up relations between the two communities.

The sponsors of a new survey on attitudes in both the Jewish and Latino communities argue that the data suggests the Jewish communal world has a long way to go.

Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros attended a “Latino Jewish Dialogue” this week in San Antonio.

Green Light To Green Cards Ends 20-Year Fight

Chen family prevails in long-running immigration case.

Special to The Jewish Week

Abraham Chen stood in the hallway outside the federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan last week, soft wonder lighting his face. “I started this case on Feb. 4,1991,” he ruminated. “Yes, it’s been exactly 20 years. Twenty years and 11 days.”

Moments before, inside the courtroom, Chen had won his long-sought prize: the right to legal residency in the United States for himself and his wife Zvia.

The Chen family with its attorney, David Frenkel, center, after winning deportation case.  Lehman Weichselbaum

Achieving a More Perfect Union: An Agenda for the New Congress

Special to the Jewish Week

The newly elected leaders in the House of Representatives plan to open the 112th session by reading the Constitution into the record. That's not a bad beginning - this Congress must dedicate itself to addressing fundamental problems in order to keep alive the promise of our constitution's preamble: "to...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

Nancy Ratzan

Populists’ Anti-Islam Message Has European Jewish Leaders Worried


BERLIN (JTA) -- Geert Wilders, the rock star of European politics, is riding the crest of a populist tsunami.

As the pro-Israel founder of Holland’s Party of Freedom lets loose recently in Berlin, shouting that Islam is a threat to Germany’s identity, democracy and prosperity, his audience of 500 reacts with an evangelical zeal, offering big-time applause and standing ovations.

“Stand by the side of those who are threatened by Islam, like the State of Israel and its Jewish citizens,” he exhorts the crowd.

Still more on the AJC Jewish public opinion survey: unasked questions

I know it seems petty to complain about the American Jewish Committee's annual survey of Jewish public opinion ( the latest was released last week, and got a lot of ink in the Jewish Week.)

For First Time, Supreme Court Opens With Three Jews


WASHINGTON (JTA) -- For the first time in history, a U.S. Supreme Court convened this week with three Jewish justices.

And Jewish defense organizations had their eyes on … Arizona.

Two of the three cases on the docket this session attracting special attention from Jewish groups come from the Grand Canyon State. One addresses tax credits for religious schools; another looks at whether state immigration laws outweigh the U.S. government. The third case, out of Maryland, deals with free speech protections.

Immigration to Israel Jumps in 5770


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Immigration to Israel rose by 18 percent in the Jewish year 5770, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Figures released Monday by the agency showed that 17,880 immigrants arrived in Israel in 5770. Some 15,180 new immigrants had come to the Jewish state the previous year.

About 7,430 new immigrants in 5770 came from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a rise of 16 percent from the 6,340 of last year.

HIAS to Congress: Extend Refugee Benefits


WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society urged Congress not to cut off funding for Supplemental Security Income, which helps elderly and disabled refugees and other immigrants pay for food and shelter.

SSI funding will run out Sept. 30. HIAS urged Congress to extend funding because many refugees who are Jewish and from the former Soviet Union and Iran rely on the money for food and other necessities.

Birthright citizenship, illegal immigration and my Aunt Rose

My great aunt Rose came to America in the early 1900s, a refugee from Czarist Russia, and family legend has it she arrived smuggled in a trunk.

By any standard, she was an illegal immigrant – yet she didn't behead anybody and leave the body in the Arizona desert and she didn't fraudulently get welfare services. She went on to a productive life in America, working for almost a half century in the millinery industry, paying taxes and contributing to – and ultimately benefiting from – Social Security.

Arizona's tough new immigration law:

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