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International visitors here to discuss migration issues

Mar 20, 2017

Credit eca.state.gov

An international delegation from Greece was in Rochester on a learning tour, meeting with local officials to discuss migration and resettlement issues.

The group is taking part in the United States Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

Vice Mayor on Migrant and Refugee Affairs for the City of Athens, Eleftherios Papagiannakis, says they are here to learn what US cities are doing for migrant integration through the country's resettlement program.

"The two systems we have in Europe and the United States are very different, and we would like to understand those differences, and if some of the best practices can be copied or adapted to the European model or the Greek model," he said.

The group stopped at City Hall this morning, and met with City Councilmember Carolee Conklin.

City Council members Carolee Conklin and Dana Miller meet with Greek delegation

"They're here to observe our practices in resettling and integrating refugees. They'd like to look a our policies, our programs, learn about the laws and talk about legal issues."

City Council Vice president Dana Miller says the dialogue should benefit both sides.

"We certainly hope that there are things we are doing that will be helpful to them, and ideally there are things that they are doing that will be helpful to us.  We certainly see this as a two-way exchange," he said.

The international delegation from Greece is here in Rochester through Wednesday.  They've also visited Baltimore, Washington and St. Louis.

"There's a big difference between the federal system and the European system, so I would like to I would like to take some time to think of all of things that I've seen here and what can we implement and copy," Papagiannakis said.