Immigration Lawyers for Russian Jews | Immigration of Russian and Eastern European Jewry

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Immigration Attorneys and Lawyers Assisting Russian Jews

Russian Jews first began migrating to the United States during the 1880s. In Russia, most Jews were forced to live in an area known as the "Pale of Settlement," a treacherous region located between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea (located in modern-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova). The soil in the Pale of Settlement was sandy, and the climate dry, making it impossible for Russian Jews to make a living through farming and agriculture. Additionally, Jews were prohibited from owning any type of land, which forced them to live in urban areas, working as merchants and craftspeople.  

Russian Jews were victims of ethnic persecution in the Pale of Settlement. They were forced to endure systematic oppression, anti-Semitic violence, and the pogroms. As a result of the pogroms, a large number of Jews were massacred and many shops, homes, and synagogues were destroyed. Persecution reached a new high in 1881 when Czar Alexander II was assassinated and the blame fell on Russian Jewish men. As a result of the Czar's death and continued persecution, the Pale of Settlement was no longer safe for the Jews and many immigrated to the United States in search of a better life, and, more importantly, freedom.

When Russian Jews arrived in America, and Ellis Island, in particular, most chose to settle in the lower east side of New York City. Surprisingly, the majority of Russian Jewish immigrants were able to find work within reasonable time. Many attribute this to the fact that most Russian Jews were educated and literate. Additionally, although poor, Russian Jews were the most skilled group of immigrants to arrive in the United States, with about two thirds of Russian Jewish immigrants having a specific trade or craft. Furthermore, Russian Jews were helped by fact that they came as settlers, and, thus, planned to stay in America permanently. Most importantly, however, the Russian Jews possessed a unique trait, rarely found in other immigrants of the day. Having endured centuries of religious and political persecution in Russia, the Russian Jews in the late 19th century possessed the power to rise above their condition; the ability to overcome adversity is a testament to the strength of character these immigrants possessed, which eventually led to their success in America.

As noted, the Russian Jews in the United States were well equipped to handle much of the work available in the U.S., allowing them much success in the new country. As a result of this new-found success, anti-Semitic sentiment arose in the U.S.  Across seas, the Russian Revolution of 1917 brought Lenin to power and many Americans began viewing Russians, including Russian Jews, as possible communist. As a result, J. Edgar Hoover gathered 249 Russian Jews and deported them back to the Soviet Union - one of the more unfortunate moments in America's overall tradition of cultural acceptance.  

Nonetheless, the great influx of Russian Jews that resulted from the religious persecution by the Russian government in the late 19th century has continued in waves ever since. Many more Russian Jews immigrated to the United States following the dissolution of the USSR. Unfortunately, though Jews still suffer greatly from religious persecution, they can no longer claim asylum in the US on basis or prejudice - this stopped in mid 1990s. They need to petition normally just like anyone else. If there are relatives living in the United States, this may influence the outcome.

Jews are now a prominent part of the United States population, culture, society, and government, not just in New York City, but throughout the U.S. Many recent Jewish immigrants from Russia speak primarily Russian at home, and there are several notable communities where public life and business are carried out mainly in Russian, such as in Brighton Beach in New York City and Sunny Isles Beach in Miami.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer to seek information on Immigration of Russian Jews

If you, or a family member is a Russian Jew and are seeking Immigration assistance or are seeking legal entry to the United States through one of the U.S. government's immigration services, please fill out the questionnaire below and an experienced immigration lawyer will contact you regarding your particular immigration matter. There is no obligation created by your submission of information. Immigration lawyers and law firms are available at all hours and will contact you to assist with any immigration concerns that you may have.