by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES — An emotional moment at the Pilipino Workers Center, as members, community groups, and church leaders gathered to hear from Rey Galleon.
After 7 years of living in the US illegally, Galleon is believed to be the first Filipino in Southern California deported under the Trump administration.
The community showered him with messages of solidarity, through art, and a vow to keep fighting for immigrant rights.
“It’s a big issue, and it really just shows the face of how unfair the policies are now, and its actual impact on families,” said PWC’s Aqui Soriano Versoza.
Expressing his thanks for the community support, Galleon shared the March 17 deportation incident — hoping to educate other Filipinos in similar situations.
He says that his family, who followed him shortly after his deportation, is still trying to adjust to this sudden change in their lives.
“Im good. Yun lang medjo mahirap talaga. It’s hard to step forward. Baga hirap,” Galleon shared. “Hirap lang kasi, hindi ko alam paano mag simula dito.”
While galleon has revealed that he would not likely try to return to the US, the PWC will continue fighting on his behalf.
“We are definitely exploring are their way to fight his case… it was an unfair and unjust process that resulted in his deportation,” said Versoza. “He should’ve had his due process. We don’t know exactly… we’re exploring all his legal process.”
Aside from messages of support, the PWC will also continue finding ways to support galleon’s family financially — collecting donations that will be sent to them to help transition into their new life.
He may not have been an active member of the PWC while he was still here.
Since sharing his story, Rey Galleon has become a rallying point, and the loudest voice as the group continues to push for immigration reform.