Emigration from the Soviet Union is limited almost entirely to the emigration of near relatives-wives and children going to join their husbands and fathers, and parents going to join their children, states an interview with the Director of the Emigration Department of the Ica (Jewish Colonization Association) Heifetz, which appears in the Yiddish Communist central organ “Emes.” The object of the Ica’s Emigration Department, he declares, is to give information to intending emigrants regarding the formalities required before they can leave the Soviet Union, and can be admitted to the countries of immigration. The Department will also give information to the population at large concerning the conditions in the countries of immigration, and what the immigrants may expect there. This is necessary, because there are still many people who imagine that they are going to have a fine time abroad and have no idea of the difficulties and the hardships which they are going to encounter.
In addition to the two offices which are being opened in Minsk and Charkoff, there will be correspondents’ stations in Kiev, Odessa, Zhitomir, Vinitze, Proskurov and Mohilev-Podolsk. All information relating to emigration will be obtainable in these places. The immigration quota of the United States of America, he continues, is very small, and barely provides for the admission of near relatives. In most other countries, like the Argentine, Australia and South Africa, permits must first be obtained from the local Immigration Department, which is possible only for persons who have close friends in the country who will stand security for them. Canada admits only agricultural workers, and there is no need of an advance permit, but Jews are not admitted there at all. Visas without advance permits are issued only by the Consuls of Mexico, Uruguay, Cuba and aPnama, but the conditions in these countries are very bad. The main opening is agriculture, under very difficult conidtions. People who have trachoma, tuberculosis or other serious diseases are not admitted. As an illustration of the “great opportunities” which await immigrants in these countries, the “Emes” concludes, Heifetz showed several letters just received from Montevideo in Uruguay from the citizens Breina Akerman and her daughter, Samuel Schwartz, Jacob Misel, and Moses Garfinkle, all pleading for permission to return to the Soviet Union, because the conditions are so bad and there is no opening for employment.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.