By Steve Angeles ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 29, 2013

PANORAMA CITY, Calif–Throughout Southern California, Filipinos have been spending their days at immigration workshops, applying for citizenship as well as fee waivers while trying to learn more about the impact of immigration reform.

“We’re already retired no jobs, I have to look for something to pay for the application fee, two of us is $1,400,” explained applicant Minerva Castillo.

The Filipino American Service Group Inc (FASGI) has been holding these monthly immigration clinics and they have seen an increase in participants as immigration reform talks in Washington DC heat up.

“Immigration reform really has changed the thinking of the Filipino American thinking how important it is to be a US citizen to apply for benefits applicable to them,” explained Susan Dilkes, executive director of FASGI.

Dilkes says there are As many as 300,000 Filipinos that are eligible to be US citizens but have not yet applied because of the $695 citizenship fees, and because many are content with their permanent resident status.

One factor motivating Filipinos to apply for citizenship is the Senate’s proposal to eliminate certain family-based petitions. If approved, adult married children and sibling petitions would be eliminated.

The flip side though, is that the backlog which forces Filipinos to wait on average 20-plus years to have their visas approved would be cleared in 8 years.

Castillo has been discouraged by her own 16 year-wait to arrive in the US on her father’s petition, but if she can get her children into the US within 8 years, she’s willing to give it a chance.

The House of Representatives plan on introducing their own version of the immigration overhaul.

You may contact Steve Angeles at

3 Comments on this post.

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  • buloknaisda
    30 May 2013 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Nasaan na ang mga madlang kumag na mahilig magsalita tungkol sa mga bagay bagay na ito??

    • Delia
      5 June 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      Oh !!!!! bulok the leeches still around , blood sucking sycophants eating rotten fish from the cesspool.

  • buloknaisda
    6 June 2013 at 6:37 am - Reply

    uy ogags, musta na?