Religion Magazine

Belzers Plan to Move to the USA as Refugees

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

The big, and shocking, news item of the day seems to be the announcement of the Belzer community that they are preparing for a mass "yerida" in the event that the new draft law should pass.
They say they have some senators who have promised to work for them on getting them refugee status, which would allow them entry into the United States.
According to the definition of refugee status, I can see how this can happen. they can make a case for being members of a persecuted social group. Whether the case will be strong enough for the US government to accept it or not remains to be seen, but it looks feasible.
Belzers plan to move to the USA as refugees
That being said, I wonder what will happen when they become refugees in, let's say, New York City. Will they suddenly discover that the vast majority of their Belzer brethren in the USA already work for a living and aren't in kollels for a very long time? Will they suddenly discover that the government gives welfare, in some places more than others, but in very few places are there mass movements to live off of welfare, because you can't really. Are they going to live in refugee or DP camps? Where will over 7000 families suddenly live? Are there 7000 homes available and open for them? Will they drive the price of rentals through the roof?
They may not have to go to the army, if they move to the USA, but their lifestyles will definitely change.
Besides for that, I am not sure if they think they are making a promise or a threat. While I think all Jews should be in Israel, and it would be disappointing to lose so many Jews back to the Diaspora, it doesn't really harm me or most people personally or directly in any way. It might even bring real estate prices in Jerusalem down a bit.

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