IMPLORE U.S. CONGRESS TO ACT ON THE MIGRANT CRISIS IN GREECE

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On behalf of the Hellenic community, I am writing as a constituent to ask for your support and for your urgent action with respect to the migrant crisis in Greece. For years, Greek islands have been housing refugees from the Middle East, a burden which is increasingly becoming unbearable for Greece alone. Amid recent unrest in the islands over the proposed construction of detention centers, the crisis has now escalated and is reaching its peak at the Evros border and across the Greek borders in the Aegean. Over the weekend, approximately ten thousand migrants (mostly males between 18-25) attempted to flood the borders of Greece, throwing rocks at Greek authorities in the process. These recent updates come days after Turkey has eased its restrictions on migrants crossing Turkish borders into Greece and evidence has surfaced that Turkish authorities have even aided in the transport of migrants from Istanbul to the border.

 

Despite the recent aid provided by the European Union, Greece remains unable to handle this crisis alone. Further, we understand that President Erdogan, as referenced in the New York Times in February, stated that Europe "should revise [its] stance toward Turkey, which at the moment holds so many IS members in prison" and "these gates will open and these IS members who have started to be sent to you will continue to be sent. Then you can take care of your own problem."

 

As such, these developments exhibit a larger initiative of Turkey to disregard international law and treaties, to recklessly endanger the lives of children and families as they are encouraged and aided in crossing the Aegean sea to Greek islands, and to use the migrant crisis as a political tool to harm the economic and national security interests of Greece as well as the rest of Europe.

 

Understanding that the United States and Greece are both NATO allies and that the United States is a permanent member of the UNSC, it is the responsibility of the United States Congress to ensure that Greece’s sovereign borders are preserved and protected and that Greece has sufficient support to resolve the current crisis. It is also the responsibility of United States Congress to ensure that Turkey respects international law and refrains from enabling this humanitarian crisis by aiding, funding, and allowing tens of thousands of migrants to cross borders with no restrictions.

 

Therefore, I ask that as a member of the United States Congress, you and your colleagues:

 

- Express support of Greece’s efforts to protect European, and therefore Western, borders

- Express support of Greece in addressing the humanitarian and security issues that have been created by the ongoing migrant crisis

- As a member of NATO and of the United Nations Security Council, ensure that aid is provided to Greece in addressing this crisis and help preserve Greece’s right, as asserted by the Department of State, to “enforce its laws along its borders”

- Condemn Turkey and President Erdogan’s actions in actively aiding the transportation of migrants to Europe's borders and using Turkish authorities to prevent the pushback of such migrants, allowing the flood of thousands of migrants to overwhelm the borders

- Where evidence has surfaced that Turkish authorities have both aided migrants out to sea in decrepit, inflatable rafts and used armored border security vehicles to knock down fences and clear border obstructions for migrants, condemn Turkey's actions in facilitating the infringement of the national security of Greece and using the migrant crisis as a political tool  

As a concerned constituent and member of the community, I look forward to the involvement of the United States Congress on this issue, which affects the West and its values. I hope that our communities can work together for a quick and effective resolution to this ongoing issue.

Today, the Sons of Pericles come together to ensure that the legacy of our Hellenic culture is preserved for future generations. Our members are proud of the contributions that Hellenism continues to make to this country.

 

We are dedicated to improving our communities through Philanthropy and Civic Responsibility. The pursuit of excellence in Education and Athletics helps stimulate and prepare tomorrow’s Leaders. These ideals comprise the goals that every member of the Sons of Pericles strives to achieve.

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