In Defense of Immigration

If the immigrant’s journey makes any sense, it is mainly for the opportunities it provides to the children of immigrants, and to generations yet to emerge.

And fortunately, their sacrifices are usually justified.

Although many years have passed since then, I still remember the question my mother asked a fellow Lemnian – the late Takis Dodos – whether the decision they made to immigrate to America to give my sister and me a chance for a better life was the right one.

Takis was studying in America – although he was past the age when, at least then, people usually studied. “I do not know about you,” he replied, but it is definitely the right decision for the future of your children.

These things came to my mind as I flipped through the pages of this week’s issue of our Periodiko magazine, just before it made its way to the press. I read the stories of great medical scientists who were born and studied in Greece, but also those of the children of immigrants educated here, and I thought: What validation!

What justification for the decisions made for the children themselves and for their parents when they were in Greece, but also for parents here in America.

The immigration road is difficult. It was tougher years ago, as immigrants were less prepared to deal with the needs of the American labor market as well as the different social mentality, in addition to not knowing how to speak English. And, of course, communicating with their own, back home, was not easy.

So it is a big deal for them to see their children progress and to see that they were able to provide opportunities to their children for a better life.

Of course, not only those who become scientists benefit. They are not the only ones making progress, living a happy and joyful life. We see children who are standouts in every field.

Our community is full of such successful children, as is America at large.

Congratulations to all. First, of course, to the children – to those who enter America’s tough competitive market and community, perhaps the most competitive internationally, and win the battle of life.

At the same time, however, the selfless sacrifice of their parents, who put their own lives in the background to give their children the opportunity to become better than them, must be recognized. To get to where they themselves, for various reasons, and due to different situations, could not get.

Congratulations to everybody!


As we mark more than 200 years since the beginning of the struggle for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, it's important to remember that the significance of this event transcends national boundaries.

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