By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 29, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – These undocumented Filipino students benefited from President Barack Obama’s deferred action policy, which has allowed them to temporarily stay and work in the country.

Now, they are calling on the president for permanent solutions to their immigration woes.

But after hearing the bipartisan blueprint of their proposed immigration reform plan yesterday, these students said these are not the kind of solutions they’re looking for.

A 23-year old undocumented nursing student, who asked not to be identified said, “I believe that the bipartisan bill can come up with a more humane way for immigration. If we militarize our borders, that’s going to increase the pain — with more people dying, more people getting hurt.”

Instead of dwelling on border enforcement, these undocumented immigrants said the government should focus on keeping families together — not tearing them apart.

These undocumented students are all members of the group, Aspire, an organization of undocumented students and their supporters. One of their demands is to convince the government to stop the deportations of undocumented students, while immigration reform has not passed.

During Obama’s first term, his administration has deported a record 1.5 million undocumented immigrants.

Twenty-four year old undocumented college student Emmanuel Valenciano said, “If undocumented students are separated from their families before immigration reform is passed, how can it help them? How can it bring them back to their families?”

They said they also disappointed that the plan will only make it easier for science, math and technology university-degree holders to get green cards — marginalizing those with degrees in other fields.

One undocumented Filipina student said, “t’s like an oversight. They don’t see other people who have other kind of degrees. And they also give back to their community, to the economy.”

These undocumented students are also unhappy that undocumented immigrants may have to go to the “end of the line” to apply for permanent status, though they agree that this is understandable.

Right now, they want Obama to keep his promise to close to two million undocumented youth who want to permanently stay in America.

The undocumented Filipina student sent this message to Obama: “We’re watching him. The community is watching him. The people are watching him. The next few months is crucial for us. It’s time for us to mobilize the community, get our voices heard. And they will hear it.”

You may contact Henni Espinosa at for more information.

4 Comments on this post.

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  • JT
    30 January 2013 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Obama’s winning votes came from the Latinos, not from the Filipino votes. The future of American politics is the Latino votes & 90% of the illegal are Latino. Therefore don’t waste your time, just fall in line and wait for your turn or go back home. I waited for 15 yrs to get my green card. You campaign for him, does not mean that you are given priority to get your green card. Do you think Obama will keep his promises.?

  • noz
    31 January 2013 at 6:18 am - Reply

    obama got what he wanted, get reelected. you all can protest, scream on top of your voices, how special and different you all are, the reality is illegal alien status is a serious offense of breaking the laws of the land. those aliens who are law abiding took decades to get permanent visas. so what made you all think as lawbreakers, you all will get preferential treatment to gain legal status ASAP. the lawbreakers of the law of the land are sent to prison, but instead these kissing the behind of voters politicians, to remain in power chose fines for your crimes, pay back taxes, go back in the back of the line, instead of deporting all illegal aliens, yes that’s what industrialized countries are doing, the right thing to do to solve these illegal aliens costing the taxpayers 13 billion dollar a year. all this illegal aliens platform of inhumane, human issues are nothing but cop out or for show to gain sympathy from ignorant taxpayers, who are robbed with their hard earned money, their jobs robbed everyday, and don’t even know they are being robbed by illegal aliens successfully living, the american dreams like leeches of society.

  • av
    31 January 2013 at 10:26 am - Reply

    harsh realities of living in america.. legally or illegally…

  • rod
    3 February 2013 at 3:19 am - Reply

    we’re watching him,..the community watching him…the people is watching him…what the heck is that !!! you’re illegals and you dont have the rights to demand…please go home and fall in line to re-apply to be back here.