Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey Senator who Opened Gates to Soviet Jews, Dies at 89

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New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, whose signature law facilitated a flood of Soviet Jewish emigration just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, has died.

Lautenberg, 89, died Monday morning of viral pneumonia, his office said. Lautenberg was the oldest serving U.S. senator and the last lawmaker in the chamber to have served in World War II.

Two far-reaching laws bear the name of the Democrat, who served a combined 30 years in the U.S. Senate in two separate stints.

The first Lautenberg Amendment passed in 1990 facilitated the emigration of Soviet Jews by relaxing stringent standards for refugee status, granting immigrant status to those who could show religious persecution in their native lands.

The Lautenberg amendment loosened a restriction that required potential refugees to show a risk of imprisonment or death, allowing those who could show that their religion restricted their lives and careers to apply for immigrant status.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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Posted by on Monday, June 3rd, 2013. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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