Anyone who has read DeviousDiva's blog This is not my Country knows that Greece has some problems when it comes to immigration and treating immigrants fairly. Obviously, such issues are not uncommon in America either. In Tennessee not too long ago a Mexican immigrant was ordered by a judge to learn English or face losing custody of her daughter. There are arguments on both sides of the immigration issue, but the reality is that immigrants, especially refugees, will continue to pour into many nations all over the world. The onus is on these receiving countries to find ways to make the immigration process better for all involved.
Nashville Is Talking today pointed out a new act written and sponsored by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Texas Senator John Cornyn called the Strengthening American Citizenship Act of 2005. This Act would help integrate legal immigrants into American society by assisting them in learning the language, the history, and way of government of the United States. Senator Alexander's article about the Act states:
That is why I recently introduced the Strengthening American Citizenship Act with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). The Strengthening American Citizenship Act helps and encourages legal immigrants who are prospective American citizens to learn our common language, history, and way of government by:
Providing $500 grants for English courses;
Allowing prospective citizens who become fluent in English to apply for citizenship one year early;
Providing grants to organizations to offer courses in American history and civics;
Authorizing the creation of a new foundation to assist in these efforts;
Codifying the Oath of Allegiance to which new citizens swear when they are naturalized, and;
Asking the Department of Homeland Security to carry out a strategy to highlight the ceremonies where immigrants become American citizens.
This bill is about fulfilling the promise of our national motto: E Pluribus Unum, from many, one. As a nation of immigrants, that motto is very important to us. For while our unique history makes us a diverse nation, we are still one American nation.
I think it is a step in the right direction. You can't always expect people in a new country to be able to do all things on their own, especially those that are scared and uncertain in their new surroundings. It would be great to see Greece dedicated to immigration reform, but I fear such things are far down the ever growing list of problems the Greek government is facing.