Immigration concerns under Trump discussed at Philippine-American general assembly in NYC

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News


NEW YORK — It was the third Filipino-American community General Assembly in New York City.

More than 200 community leaders from 95 mostly-Filipino organizations gathered in the Big Apple, to reconnect and collaborate with other organizations for change.

Consulate General Tess Dizon De Vega says the one-day event is not only a way for New York’s top envoy to meet her constituents, but is also a way to learn about the needs of the Filipino community in the Northeast coast

“[We hope] to develop closer linkages, and through that, develop synergy and greater collaboration,” Dizon De Vega says.

Community leaders contributed their voice to issues surrounding the Filipino communities in ten states served by the Philippine consulate, including the US crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Most of us came as legal immigrants,” said Boston Fil-Am leader Frank Celoza. “We have families, relatives… that for whatever reasons, economic reason, political reasons had to come here to find better lives. We should be supportive of our people, who are good deserving people.”

President Donald Trump’s aggressive immigration policy to round up, detain and deport the undocumented — including those with no criminal records or minor offenses — is sowing fear in Filipino communities.

“There is fear, no matter what. Because in the early years, we tried to help Filipinos who are undocumented,” said Celoza. “Nowadays they won’t even come out.”

“Talagang kalat na kalat dun sa mga kababayan natin na lalo na sa mga walang papel, halos hindi na pumasok sa trabaho, hindi makapasok sa school. Talagang nandiyan yung panic,” said Yves Nibungco, from Migrante New Jersey.

The New York Philippine Consulate participates in the consular notification program, where the consulate will be informed by immigration agencies whenever a Filipino national is detained or subjected to removal process.

“So far none, none at this point,” said Dizon De Vega. “We expect that we will get some notices in the coming weeks and months, and whenever we do, our first step is always to request permission to reach out and to contact or even speak or even visit, or have access to the Filipino concerned.”

President Trump is expected to roll out a new refugee and immigration executive action on Wednesday, according to White House officials.

It was expected to be signed last week, but White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president had delayed the order to make sure that it will be executed in a flawless manner.

Details of the said immigration executive order are not available at this time.



2 Comments on this post.

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    28 February 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    It is good to hear that some Filipinos recognized those who came here in the U.S. legally. The problem is that there is always that one Filipino who is different and want to tolerate illegal immigrants for some shallow causes.

  • h
    5 March 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Tell me what is the big deal, look all illegal will be pick up and deported. That’s the right way, pick-up and no court date just given a one way ticket back to the Philippines and than wait 10 years to try to come back to America the right way, lets say get in the back of the line and wait for the door to open to America for you to come back. Good now we have a strong president that will do what he said he was going to do when he ran for president, get rid of the waste that was eating our taxes money and than deport the illegal people.