Resources & Media

New Interactive Website Allows Americans to Personalize Impact of Today’s Immigration Policies

Press Contact: 
Samantha Friedman
Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
Office: (202) 265-3000; Cell: (202) 215-9260
Release Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2013

– A leading social justice organization is enabling people to look at the plight of aspiring Americans by inviting them to visit a new interactive website that demonstrates how restrictive today’s immigration laws are. Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice has launched, which allows users to see if their ancestors would have been granted entry to the United States under today’s stringent immigration laws. The answer in almost all cases is a resounding no – a fact that means many of the millions of people in the United States today would not have been a part of the story of America if they were living under today’s immigration laws.

Bend the Arc, the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice advocating for the nation’s most vulnerable, is advocating for a just and equitable immigration system that includes equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, as well as robust labor protections for aspiring Americans and their families. Through ongoing conversations with White House officials and Congressional offices, Bend the Arc is facilitating engagement for Jewish community leaders and activists on immigration reform. Bend the Arc is seeking to foster discourse that encourages a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens who currently toil in the shadow economy and to ensure that immigration reform covers same-sex couples.

“Our immigration system is fragmented, serving neither immigrant families nor the economic interests of our country, and fixing it is an economic and a moral imperative,” said Bend the Arc CEO Alan van Capelle. “Common sense immigration reform is a natural priority for the Jewish community. Today, millions of people live, work and raise families in the United States without basic civil rights or labor protections, without access to many services, and in constant fear of persecution and deportation. The only thing holding these aspiring Americans back is not their commitment to this country, but this country’s commitment to them.”

Van Capelle is available to comment on the Jewish community’s advocacy around immigration reform, particularly its coordination with the White House.

“While many of our ancestors endured hardship to come here, the overwhelming majority would not have been able to come here at all under today’s immigration laws,” van Capelle continued. “Our nation would not be the thriving place it is today without its diverse background and rich cultural fabric. We cannot stifle aspiring Americans from contributing, innovating and building our nation’s wellbeing. Not only does this exclusion hinder our economic growth, but it runs contrary to the moral teachings of Judaism.

“Who better than Jewish people with our own unique immigration story to give a voice to today’s struggling aspiring Americans?”

Bend the Arc is the nation’s leading progressive Jewish voice empowering Jewish Americans to be advocates for the nation’s most vulnerable. We mobilize Jewish Americans beyond religious and institutional boundaries to create justice and opportunity for all, through bold leadership development, innovative civic engagement, and robust progressive political advocacy. More information is available at

Find out if your ancestors would have been admitted entry into America today by visiting