New York Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Rhode Island Democrat Senator Leonidas Raptakis have issued the following bi-partisan statement in support of Greece:

“Every nation has the right to secure its borders. That is true for both the U.S. and Greece. Both nations have long, proud histories of showing compassion toward immigrants and refugees. However, they must also have the ability to control the flow of immigration and know who is entering their country for security, health and economic reasons.

“Right now, as a result of the escalation of a humanitarian disaster in Syria, the Erdogan regime in Turkey is acting a chaos agent—helping to unleash a flood of Syrian refugees upon Greece and the European Union.

“The U.S. government needs to oppose this action in the strongest terms possible. 

“The Turkish government is essentially shredding its agreement with the EU to limit and control illegal immigration, even though the Erdogan regime has accepted well over €3 billion in aid to support this work. The EU has shut its borders north of Greece to stop the flow of migrants into other EU countries, resulting in Greece absorbing a huge flow of refugees that it cannot cope with alone. 

“On the Greek islands of Chios, Lesvos & Samos, there are now more refugees than native populations. Greece is recovering from a devastating financial crisis and is being forced to carry the burden of Turkey’s reckless and irresponsible actions by itself. The EU has failed to provide Greece, a member state, with the economic, security and political support necessary to deal with this refugee crisis and to effectively stand up to the Erdogan regime’s bullying. This is a clear effort by Turkey to sow division in the EU and to weaken the organization.

“We urge the European Union members and the U.S. to work together to address this serious crisis and make clear to Turkey that it cannot continue to take steps to fuel this problem and sow chaos throughout Europe.”