Nadler’s Historic Measure on Former Soviet Union Pensions is Approved in the House.

Nadler’s Historic Measure on Former Soviet Union Pensions is Approved in the House.
To the FSU immigrants in the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. & ndash; Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) amendment calling on the United States to work with the former Soviet Union (FSU) in order to facilitate payment of pensions to FSU & migr & eacute ; s now living in the US Nadler’s measure amends H.R. 2410, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, and would direct the U.S. government to continue work to resolve. There are often tens of thousands of FSU immigrants in this country who have yet to receive pensions after decades of labor for Soviet and post-Soviet industries.
& ldquo; This resolution solidifies Congress & rsquo; intention to help Russian-speaking & migr & e; in their struggle to receive their hard-earned pensions, & rdquo; said Nadler. & ldquo; The FSU nations owe these people for their hard work, regardless of the politics, bureaucracy, or the discriminatory immigration policies of Soviet past. After these workers gave so much of their lives to their work in the FSU, they now deserve the pensions that were promised to them. I want to thank Yakov Goodman and Eliazar Bloshteyn for all of their hard and passionate work on this issue, and for first bringing it to my attention. & Rdquo;
In 2006, at the request of community advocates from the FSU, migr & eacute; community in Brooklyn, Nadler began his efforts to restore a pension to those immigrants, working with key State Department and Social Security Administration officials on the issue. Thus far, almost none of the 15 former Soviet republics reliably pay pensions to retired workers living in the U.S.
The following is Nadler’s statement on the House Floor, as written, in support of this resolution:
& ldquo; Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment, which expresses the sense of the Congress that we should continue working with the states of the former Soviet Union to see that immigrants from these states are now living in America.
& ldquo; The United States already has bilateral agreements or arrangements with dozens of other nations that address cross-country government pension coverage. While different agreements can occur in different ways, the important point is that, under certain circumstances, government pensions are treated with reciprocity. In other words, with respect to the countries with which we have arrangements, these countries, we pay our citizens who live in the U.S.
& ldquo; Among the countries with which we do not have such arrangements. That is critically important because of the Americans in the 1970s, & lsquo; 80s and & lsquo; 90s. Many of these were migr & e;; s were Jews who were forced to renounce their citizenship & ndash; and the rights of citizenship & ndash; in order to leave. Now, hundreds of thousands of these are migr & e; s live in America & ndash; many in my congressional district in New York. I am proud to represent these courageous immigrants and their families.
& ldquo; The tragedy for these immigrants is that we do not have arrangements with their former home countries with regard to government pensions and almost none of the former Soviet republics. This means that tens of thousands of elderly retirees, who gave their lives in state-run industries and who are paid into the Soviet pension fund, are denied what they have earned. These retirees are being denied the government pensions that their blood, sweat and tears, were not supposed to earn them. This is manifestly unjust. We must work with the states of the former Soviet Union. just like we have with dozens of other countries & ndash; to see that those pensions are paid.
& ldquo; I already have begun working to make this happen. In the last three years, I have met with officials from the Department of State and the Social Security Administration. They supported my goal of reaching agreements with these states whereby the government pensions would be paid. In particular, the State Department and the Social Security Administration have had preliminary discussions with their counterparts in Russia, Ukraine, and other states of the former Soviet Union. For various reasons, including a lack of funds, impossible bureaucracy, and complexities due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, these countries have declined to make good on their government pension promises.
& ldquo; My amendment to address this issue is very straightforward. It would declare that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States must continue its work to solve this problem. We need to continue talking with Russia and Ukraine, as well as to reach out to the former Soviet Union, to come to mutually acceptable solutions.
& ldquo; Millions were forced to flee their homes in the former Soviet Union. They are their lives, their families, and their homeland. Now they are senior citizens, for the most part, in retirement. They should not be victimized again by being denied the government pensions that they earned. I ask that Members support my amendment, and encourage our government to work to solve this manifest unfairness.
& ldquo; I reserve the balance of my time. & rdquo;
Jerrold Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents New York & rsquo; s 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.


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