The nation’s largest organization representing Greek Americans issued a strongly-worded statement in opposition of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, calling it “inconsistent with American values.”
Founded in 1922 to combat rampant racism targeting Greek immigrants, AHEPA, which stands for American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association, has long advocated for various causes and humanitarian relief efforts throughout its long history.
Andrew C. Zachariades, President of the organization, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“America is a nation of immigrants. Our immigrant forebears fled war-torn nations to come to America in search of peace, security, and a better way of life in pursuit of the American Dream. AHEPA was founded by visionary Greek immigrants who were determined to find harmony among their new neighbors in America and who sought to foster American patriotism and good citizenship.
“The United States must be safe and secure. However, we believe an optimal immigration policy is one that strikes a balance between national security and the rule of law.
“A broad travel ban based on an ethnic or religious test is inconsistent with American values and is counterproductive to our national security. We also believe refugees who have gone through extensive screening, and who are deemed to pose no threat to our national security, should be afforded the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Moreover, although the Department of Homeland Security has stated the travel ban does not include permanent legal residents, we are deeply concerned about the executive order’s impact upon them and upon individuals with dual citizenship.
“We urge the administration to revise its broad travel ban and maintain America as the world’s beacon of freedom, liberty, and opportunity.”