Reasonable Rules Benefit Everyone

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Most of HELADA’s members are or have been immigrants. Most of our Greek members have studied or worked outside of Greece. The expats among us have all visited the Aliens’ Bureau at one time or another. Some of us still do, on at least an annual basis. We all know how it feels to force-jump through bureaucratic hoops.

While Greek bureaucracy is notorious, this is one area where the US is no better. Things have improved over the years here in Greece although the residence permit process is still time-consuming. NB: Summer 2009, undocumented immigration is again in the Greek news.

In the US, things have worsened as the result of immigrantion’s being made a political football. The rightwing, in particular, has demonized the ‘illegal immigrant,’ raising fear and envy among American workers in an effort to grab their votes. The recent construction of a fence at the Mexican border seems as ludicrous as a solution as it is a detriment to wildlife corridors.

American unions, to their credit, have supported immigrant rights. They realise that harsh laws encourage exploitation that percolates into the echelons of native workers. Easy legalization, on the other hand, allows immigrant workers to join unions, demand fair pay for themselves, and thus not undercut native workers’ incomes. Immigrants tend to be younger workers, who then pay taxes and contribute to the social security system, now so burdened with retiring babyboomers.

HELADA supports reasonable, humane immigration policy. Deflate the political football and … tear down that wall!

For further information:
Articles by Kathy Tsivilaki, Athens News, 2006
Greek Immigration Law – English translation

Immigration: Enforcement or Politics
, Business Week, Aug 08
Conservative take from NewsMax criticizes a rational approach by Napolitano (Dir. DHS)

Taxing Undocumented Immigrants: Separate, Unequal and Without Representation
, TaxProf blog.
The widespread belief is that ‘illegal aliens’ cost more in government services than they contribute to the economy. This belief is undeniably false.”
Colleges Push Tuition Aid for Illegal Immigrants, TIME Magazine
“Reclaiming the Church’s Mission and Message on Immigration” Sojourner’s, June 2009

Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Immigrants’ Rights 
Sierra Club activist
awarded for work on border issues, March 2008
United Farm Workers
National Council of La Raza (NCLR) 
We Can Stop the Hate campaign of NCLR 
MALDEF - Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund

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