April 15, 2014

Need to connect with family in another country?


WWII ERA Poster, Created by USCOM

Do you have an address of a family member living in another country that you are trying to find? This is the work that ISS-USA has been doing for 90 years.

In 1924, an International Social Service Federation was founded out of the 1921 report "The Welfare of Migrants," which studied the hardships faced by migrant populations, including separation from their families, complex and ever-changing immigration quota laws, and unfamiliar languages.

In 1926, when the USA Branch (ISS-USA) was founded, hundreds of thousands of people were fleeing from Europe for economic opportunities, to seek relief from the devastation caused by WWI, and to escape pogroms and persecution. All were seeking a better life in the U.S. Many arrived in New York clutching their most precious possession, an address of a loved one.

ISS-USA was there to help the newly arriving find their family members, remit money back to family still in Europe, and to help seek asylum for those fleeing political oppression. At the onset of WWII, ISS’s vast network of offices throughout Europe once again proved itself as an invaluable resource.

When the U.S. Committee for the Care of European Children (USCOM) was established in 1940, to help evacuate children from the war zones, the Associate Director of ISS-USA set up and directed the Migration Division. Due in large part to ISS-USA's familiarity with immigration law, and its long standing working relationship with government officials, USCOM was successful in evacuating 3,500 children to the U.S, including over 800 Jewish children from Vichy, France. After the war, ISS-USA's expertise was once again put to good use, reuniting children who had been separated from their families, and helping those in the U.S. find news of their European family members.

As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, the work of ISS-USA continues to be essential in connecting families and children who have been separated by international borders. We are truly free when borders are not barriers to being with our family.

Learn more about our history through our Archives.

If you are currently trying to locate a family member in another country or are working with a client who has family in another country that needs to be contacted, we can help. Learn more about our Services for Children and Services for Adults.


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