HIAS Pennsylvania Recommends

One of the best ways to become an advocate for refugees and immigrants is by educating yourself about their stories. We highly recommend the following to learn more:


Let Me Count the Ways

This American Life

Why we recommend it: There are so many ways the current administration is going after immigrants, from lowering the refugee ceiling to changing grounds for asylum to putting individuals' citizenship into question. This American Life manages to explain the extent of the administration's actions towards immigrants while grounding it in the stories of the individuals affected.

Read it here.


Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.

Politico Magazine by David S. Glosser

Why we recommend it: David Glosser is volunteer at HIAS PA, providing mental health evaluations for our asylum cases. He speaks out about his own nephew, Stephen Miller, the architect behind much of the administration's anti-immigrant policies. He uses their shared family history of migration to put the hypocrisy of his policies in perspective.

Read it here.



We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This

New York Magazine by Eric Levitz

Why we recommend it: When the United States turns away Central Americans away from the border, we don't acknowledge that the persecution that many are facing are due to US policies.

Read it here.



When Deportation is a Death Sentence

The New Yorker by Sarah Stillman

Why we recommend it: Many people do not understand that deportation isn't just about separating families and people from their lives. It can be a matter of life and death.

Read it here.



NO SANCTUARY: In Philadelphia, it's open season on Undocumented Immigrants

A ProPublica/Philadelphia Inquirer investigation by Deborah Sontag and Dale Russakoff

Why we recommend it: This in-depth series describes the aggressive practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Philadelphia taken against undocumented immigrants with no criminal record and how little oversight there is.

Read it here.




Dreams and Nightmares: I Fled Alone to the United States When I Was Fourteen

By Liliana Velasquez (HIAS PA former client), edited by Mark Lyons

Why we recommend it: There are a lot of news articles and books about the unaccompanied minors who are fleeing violence in Central America and making the dangerous trek to the United States. This book is written by one of HIAS Pa's former clientsl who went through it herself.

Learn more here.






Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace

By Bana Alabed

Why we recommend it: This story makes the Syrian War real. It heart-rendingly depicts the impact war has on everyday citizens and how borders can tear families apart, exacerbating desperate situations. And it's all told by an eight year old child.

Learn more here.







A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

By Lev Golinkin

Why we recommend it: During the 1980s and 90s thousands of Jews left the Soviet Union to start new lives in the United States, leaving behind anti-semitism and poverty. In this memoir, Lev Golinkin describes his journey to make sense of this past. The memoir poignantly captures the extreme challenge of leaving everything you have ever known, arriving in a foreign country where your education and experience are neither recognized nor respected and what that does to your dignity. It captures the complicated feelings of gratitude towards generous strangers for survival while resenting the lack of independence. 

Learn more here.