Google Founder Gives $1 million to Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

The New York Times reports that Sergey Brin, billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder of Google, has donated $1 million to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the organization that helped his family to resettle in the United States, fleeing the anti-Semitism of the Soviet Union, thirty years ago. According to the Times, HIAS enabled the Brin family to find its way through the bureaucratic maze, and eventually get to the United States, providing assistance with visas and transportation, and financial help to get the family on its feet. [New York Times, Billionaire Aids Charity That Aided Him, (PDF 1MB) by Stephanie Strom (October 24, 2009), is available on MurthyDotCom.]

This rags-to-riches story illustrates beautifully why I practice immigration law. People often say that America is a land of immigrants, and it’s true that we all benefit from the talents and new perspectives of people who come here from other lands. It is a privilege to facilitate this movement of labor and talent to a place that can make good use of it. Even in the midst of our current recession, America remains a land of opportunity, one that draws the best and brightest from around the world. America provides the freedom, transparency, public order, and rule of law that are necessary preconditions for entrepreneurs to succeed here. Given the chance to succeed, and the drive to make things happen, immigrant entrepreneurs will create jobs and new economic opportunities, and in the case of Sergey Brin and Google, they can create entirely new industries that never existed before. In my case, I started a law practice on my dining-room table, and now have an immigration law firm with approximately 70 employees.

It’s really gratifying to see the way Mr. Brin is giving back to the community by making philanthropy a part of his life. Having grown up in India, in modest circumstances, I can relate to his story. As a fellow immigrant and entrepreneur, this story is very close to my heart. I feel extremely lucky to be here, in a place where I could realize my dreams, and help others to realize theirs. The gratitude I feel to this country makes me want to give back, and I have made this a priority for my family, too. The MurthyFoundation is my way to say “thank you” for all this country has given me, and my way to help people back in my homeland to reach for a better life.

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