Elderly Filipino facing deportation finds hope in immigration court

LOS ANGELES — Amid President Donald Trump’s increased crackdown on undocumented immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have currently detained more than 50,000 immigrants nationwide. 

An ICE facility is the last place these community advocates would want to see Mang Eddy end up in.

This elderly Filipino, who wants to remain anonymous, is facing deportation, and the nonprofit group Pilipino Workers Center, or PWC, has taken on his case.

“It’s always very uncertain in terms of what the decision is going to be, because part of it is discretion, part of it is, we’re just never sure,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza.

These advocates said Mang Eddy lost his immigration status — because he was defrauded by a notario over a decade ago.

And so every six months for the past five years, he’s had to appear before an immigration court — hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

“It has been getting harder and harder with this case. And with other immigration cases in general that the requirements, and evidence to prove your case, different arguments you have to make, the bar has gotten higher and higher. There are different immigration cases that are getting harder to prove that means we have to harder in finding ways to bring different legal strategies and community support.”

During Mang Eddy’s most recent immigration court appearance, his 11th, he was given a bit of hope, as investigators have been building a case against the notario who allegedly victimized him and other victims. 

“He’s helping to try to make sure she’s made accountable and being a part of this investigation in her practices. It’s important for him to stay here to make sure that his voice is heard in that investigation.”

The PWC was given a deadline by the immigration court to file a U visa for Mang Eddy. A U visa is a non-immigrant visa for victims of crimes.

Mang Eddy’s advocates are hoping that this is the final leg of his journey towards immigration relief.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    5 December 2019 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Appeared at the Immigration court every 6 months, the common technique by Immigration lawyers until your pocket is empty, then they will convince you to go for voluntary deportation, with a promised that you have a chance to come back to the US. This promise is not true, it depends on US Embassy in the PHI if they give you a return visa, chances are you can not return back anymore. Voluntary deportation means you buy your own ticket, save you money, any way you can not come back anymore, some can come back after 10-15 years.

  • Tiago Del Mundo
    12 December 2019 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Given the situation… Lost immigration status, getting older in America (land of opportunity where the rule of law is a way of life), I mean where is the honor and dignity of being a Filipino in a Tago-Ng-Tago immigration status? That to me is thick facial skin, pakapalan ng mukha, it has been too long so it must be really thick, says Marlyn Rogero (Stockton Filipino Federation).

    According Tito Ding Cereso (Pangalatoks of San Jose), Brother Ed should get together with the Flores clan, join the protest led by Bayan USA, Gabriela, Anak Bayan USA, etc. and maybe Tito Ted Laguatan can sensationalize some political asylum miracles with the liberal court judges in San Francisco.