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More than two million refugees have been taken in by the US since 1980. Many seek asylum due to past persecution or fear of potential persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership with a particular social group, or even political opinions. However, almost 60 percent of asylum cases fail in the United States, or they are rejected. A third of those seeking asylum go into the courts unrepresented due to low financial status. Those who can obtain representation have a much higher chance of winning their case. Today, those who were once refugees are doing the most by helping others in the same situations they once were. 

Sergey Brin 

As a young boy, Sergey Brin left with his family during the former USSR to escape institutional anti-Semitism. At the age of six, along with his brother, Brin, and his parents immigrated to the United States. The family was among the last Jews that were allowed to leave the USSR until the Gorbachev era. When they made it to the US, his father obtained a job as a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland. His mother became a research scientist for NASA’S Goddard Space Flight Center. As Brin grew up, his parents emphasized his education. During his time in school, he was able to gain a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. This fellowship took him on to study at the prestigious Stanford University. At Stanford, he became fast friends with Larry Page. Their interests in data mining systems and the early stages of the internet brought them to develop the starting technology for the largest search engine that we use today, Google. 

Today Brin speaks out against the policies in the US that currently ban immigration. In the recent past, donating $1 million to The Hebrew Immigration Aid Society has helped rescue those whose lives are in danger due to who they are; the same organization that helped him and his family leave the USSR. 


To protect those most vulnerable, HIAS helps them rebuild and reunites them with their families. This philanthropy helps advocate for the protection of families and treats those displaced with dignity. In 1975 The State Department asked for HAIS’s help to help aid in the resettling of more than 3,600 Vietnam refugees. Since then, they continue to help provide support for refugees of all nationalities, religions, and ethnicities. The HAIS organization works with many whose lives and freedom are at risk due to persecution or violence. Today the organization spans the US and has locations in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Since the inception of the organization, they have helped to resettle over 4.5 million people.