Filipina caregiver, activist and former undocumented trafficking victim celebrates 60th birthday

LOS ANGELES — A caregiver’s birthday celebration became a call for activism, as the Trump administration continues its campaign promises on carrying out mass ICE deportation raids.

This is no ordinary 60th poolside birthday bash — each of these floating candles represents the journey of a woman who has been through good times, and bad times.

Terry Villasenor escaped spousal abuse in the Philippines, only to become a victim of labor trafficking.

She found herself undocumented, and working as a caregiver, but this situation empowered her into a life of art and activism.

“I was joking around I’ve been through all these predicaments, all these ordeals, no more ordeals, order online… Yun ang ngngyari parang, naka lipas na, naka tawid na sa hirap. Ito na ang nakaka tuhanan na papatuloy tayo. Time to continue what I have started.”

Her celebration comes as immigrants are facing the threat of deportation.

The New York Times has reported that President Donald Trump has threatened to deport some 2000 immigrants in ten cities, a plan that was delayed for a few weeks.

For Villasenor, who knows what it’s like to be in immigration limbo, she tells her fellow Filipinos to not give up hope.

“Just fight for it wag sila matakot. Don’t be afraid and fight for it because we are here. One continent one world. We are the same. Nobody owns America, we are here we have to continue.”

As she and her friends from the Pilipino Workers Center celebrate this milestone, they’re keeping the fighting spirit alive already making plans of any Filipinos are among those targeted for deportation.

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  • Mario
    16 July 2019 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    The 2000 Kababayan to be deported carry a court removal order. They arrived as illegal alien, given a day in court, they lost, they will be deported Legally. The ICE officer gave them 2 choices, first, they asked you to buy your own ticket and they stamped your passport as VOLUNTARY DEPORTATION,2nd choice, ICE will buy your ticket and board you you on a certain date and stamped your passport as DEPORTED. What I heard from my friend in PH as a voluntary deportee he can re-apply for a tourist visa after 8 years. I don’t believed on that. But if you are deported it will be hard for you to come back into the US or no more chance to come back anymore.