Thursday, March 28, 2013

Immigration Reform and the Greek American Experience

By Andy Manatos

Special to TNH

Washington is buzzing about Immigration Reform – a subject to which Greek-Americans can relate. We understand the subject of immigration and the need to update our immigration laws, which both shortchange today’s Greeks and fail to effectively manage the influx of immigrants from other nations. Today’s immigration reform can better secure our borders and more efficiently expel convicted criminals. It can also find ways to better integrate into our country, through proper channels, scores of people who, like the Greek-American immigrants of our community, are hard-working, family-oriented lovers of America.

Our community remembers how tough it is to be an immigrant. All of the Greek-Americans who immigrated to this country in the early 1900s were dirt poor. Like today’s immigrants, they came to our shores with nothing but a burning desire to improve their lives, and, more importantly, for Greek immigrants, a desire to improve the lives of their children.

As we participate in our democracy as it addresses immigration reform, it might be helpful for us to remember our history – to remind ourselves that although our immigrant parents, grandparents and great grandparents were dirt poor, uneducated, and often illiterate in English and Greek, they were among the finest people we have ever known. We all might handle the immigration reform issue more wisely if we remind ourselves that we really are for today’s immigrants, legal and illegal, their “fellow immigrants.”

For the entire essay see, http://www.thenationalherald.com/article/58689


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