Washington, D.C. – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) held an AHEPA forum, “Visa Waiver Program: 2007 A Year for Expansion?” on Capitol Hill on Friday, January 19. The program, was a success with panelists representing various facets of the US and European Governments.
The expert panelists included: Baxter Hunt from the US Department of State; Ambassador Angelos Pangratis from the Delegation of the European Commission; Nathan Sales from the US Department of Homeland Security; Jeannie Siskovic from the office of US Senator George Voinovich and Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute.
“We believe that the Visa Waiver Program and its potential expansion, to include Greece, is currently at the forefront of discussion in Washington,” said Gus J. James, II, AHEPA National President. “Moreover, in order to continue the dialogue of expansion, we believe by hosting an informational forum we can continue to play a vital role in educating the public about the programʼs benefits.
“We have been in the lead on this issue by creating awareness of Greeceʼs qualifications as a Visa Waiver nation to key members of Congress and federal agencies. Greece certainly is well-positioned for entry based on its own merits and we believe that through its admission a lot of goodwill will be generated between all countries involved.”
James added he expects there to be significant progress in 2007 and AHEPA will remain engaged in seeing this process through to completion.
MEETINGS WITH US CONGRESSMEN
On Friday January 19, Supreme President Gus J. James, II, had an informational meeting with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, who is also an Ahepan. President James congratulated the Congressman on his election to Congress and offered AHEPAʼs continued support during its 85th Year of Service.
Later, President James stopped to visit with Congressman John Sarbanes, who is also an Ahepan. President James congratulated Congressman Sarbanes on his recent election to Congress and offered AHEPAʼs assistance throughout his tenure.
In both meetings, President James informed the Congressmen of AHEPAʼs active role with the Visa Waiver Program and various other initiatives AHEPA will undertake during the 110th Congress.
Supreme President Gus J. James, II, had an informational meeting with the first and current Director of National Intelligence John Dimitri Negroponte. President James informed Ambassador Negroponte of AHEPAʼs history, accomplishments and current role in the community.
Later, President James stopped to visit with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey (pictured on right). President James informed the Senator of AHEPAʼs active role with the Visa Waiver Program and various other initiatives AHEPA will undertake during the 110th Congress.
President James illustrated how the AHEPA has served, not only the Greek-Americans, but also the community as a whole, with issues that concern us all.