AHEPA Commends Hellenic Caucus’ Summit on Greece
Backs effort to engage Homeland Security Dept. on Refugee Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a

U.S. Rep. Bilirakis

leading association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, applauds a Summit on Greece hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2015, at the U.S. Capitol, announced Supreme President John W. Galanis.

“AHEPA sincerely appreciates and commends the Hellenic Caucus, under the leadership of Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, for organizing and hosting the Summit on Greece,” Galanis said. “The summit examined the two crises Greece is confronting, economic and migratory.  AHEPA looks forward to contributing to the efforts of Congress, as well as the Obama Administration, to assist Greece and its people.”
Hellenic Caucus to Send Letter to Homeland Security

As part of the summit, the Hellenic Caucus drafted a letter that will eventually be sent to Homeland

U.S. Rep. Maloney

Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. The letter requests the Department of Homeland Security to formulate and provide practical recommendations and technical assistance to share with Greece and her respective border control agencies.  Currently, the caucus co-chairs, U.S. Reps. Bilirakis and Maloney, are circulating the letter to their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives for their consideration for signature.

Facing nearly 400,000 migrants and refugees arriving by sea this year alone, Greece is at the frontline of the crisis,” Galanis said. “AHEPA strongly backs this letter authored by the Hellenic Caucus that seeks technical assistance from the U.S. government to help with the crisis. Homeland Security and Greece have demonstrated a recent history of cooperation, working together to implement Greece’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program from 2006 to 2010.  AHEPA believes they can do so again in order to address this extraordinary crisis.”
He added, “We urge the community to raise awareness of the Hellenic Caucus letter to their members of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Background
AHEPA embarked on a campaign to provide humanitarian assistance to Greece in 2012.  As part of that campaign:
  • AHEPA has collaborated with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to secure nine shipping containers of medical supplies which have been delivered all throughout Greece, totaling more than $6 million in medical supply aid. Each shipping container costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to secure.
  • In March 2013, AHEPA Canada donated a rigid bronchoscope machine valued at 10,000 euros (or approximately $12,000 Canadian) to Evangelismos Hospital. The rigid bronchoscope is used to prevent lung bleeding while positioning stents in tumors.
  • More than $500,000 was donated to Apostoli Mission in Athens to help feed the needy people of Greece.
  • Moreover, AHEPA’s 31 chapters on the ground in Greece are helping their local communities through their own charitable and philanthropic initiatives and programs.
To date, the AHEPA family has raised nearly $700,000 for humanitarian aid for the people of Greece to secure public health assistance or to help feed those in need.

AHEPA was founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.  Even as recent as the late 20th century AHEPA supported legal measures to combat the KKK. In 1990, AHEPA filed an amicus curiae brief in the Georgia Supreme Court. It backed the legal position of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith International in support of a state law banning masks in public, which was challenged by the KKK. The court ruled 6 to 1 to uphold the constitutionality of the anti-mask statute

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