In Southern California, ICE reportedly apprehended five Filipinos in one week
As the immigration debates continue from the border to Capitol Hill, Filipinos are also being swept up in their Southern California homes.
The Philippine consulate has verified that between June 7th through the 14th, five Filipinos had been apprehended by ICE.
Two were part of a three-day operation that swept up 162 people, most of which ICE has described as “criminal aliens.”
While details of these arrests remain limited, the Pilipino Workers Center has been able to monitor some of the cases and has been in contact with one of the detainees.
“Our members have reported that one caregiver in Covina was also arrested, and then the other one in Panorama City was also arrested in front of his house while he’s going to his car,” said Lolit Andrada Lledo.
Lledo says the Filipino arrested in Panorama City has lived in the U.S. for some 17 years.
He was at one time a victim of a notario, but has had legal work permits.
“The family was surprised because they have work permits while their case is pending so they do not know why he was arrested and in front of his house. They did not knock on the door.”
A second case they’ve discovered prior to the 3 day-long ICE sweeps that began on June 9 involved a Filipino caregiver arrested at his apartment in Covina.
He opted for self-deportation.
PWC Says they’ve monitored at least 3 cases in the past year that resulted in self-deportation.
Lledo Says joining a group like PWC can help build a community that could rally for detained Filipinos, while linking them to lawyers and informing them of their rights.
One major concern right now is child separations. She says undocumented Filipinos also need to prepare to find care for their children to avoid issues similar to the separations at the US-Mexico border.
“If they’re arrested, who would take care of their kids? You should have done special power of attorney so someone can take care, otherwise your kids would be put in foster care and it would be hard for you to get them.
The latest Department of Homeland Security data shows that in 2016, DHS arrested 263 Filipinos and removed 261 of them — less than half had criminal records.
According to ICE statistics, the agency has 182 Philippine nationals during its 2017 fiscal year.
Lledo says that of the two Filipino cases they’ve followed, neither have prior criminal records.