Most Popular Undocumented Filipino in America Says Focus on Border Security is Not Enough

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Immigration reform is one step closer to becoming a reality in America – after the US Senate passed a key amendment that would strengthen border security provisions to the “Gang of 8’s” proposed legislation.

60 votes were needed to move the bill forward, and with lawmakers voting 62 to 27, Senators have cut the debates short and sent the bill on the floor.

President Obama is relieved, he said, “It’s now time to get things done.”

The amendment would require government to hire 20,000 more border security agents, build an additional 700 miles of fence along the US – Mexico border and purchase a $3.2 Billion equipment upgrade similar to the ones used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proposal will also strengthen the E-verification system standard as well as the border entry-exit controls.
Under the new bill, undocumented immigrants will only be eligible for permanent residency status after the five conditions are met…

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said the enhanced border security provision will satisfy any critic of immigration overhaul.

“This is not only sufficient, this is well over sufficient. It will be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that’s why I think this amendment is very important,” said McCain.

Undocumented journalist turned immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas said that while there is no such thing as a perfect bill, he has always questioned the motives behind the obsession on border security.

“The conversation has revolved around too much conversation about border security. My border was the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t the U-S Mexico border. I understand the country needs to secure its border. But I think we need to ask deeper questions: What is border security about?” said Vargas.

Strengthening the US-Mexico border may be targeting only one part of the broken immigration system problem – US-Mexican border jumpers.

“1.3 million of the 11 million undocumented people are Asian…the majority of whom are Filipinos. My challenge to the Filipino community in America is — is how are we going to get involved?” Vargas pointed out.

Vargas said that in order to be fair and just, a path to becoming an American Citizen must be part of the final immigration reform law.

“Do we want second class citizens in 21stCentury America? No! We do not want that. We want to give people full citizenship so that they can pledge to this flag…so they can be Americans,” concluded Vargas.

You may contact Don Tagala at dontagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • kikayPang0
    26 June 2013 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Sequel of Bareback Mountain ….starring …. Vargas and Tagala

  • jr(catholic against theteaparty)
    26 June 2013 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    This is just one of the right wing conservative, capitalist tactics they use to make money of the situation. Who is going to profit from this but those corporations owned by the Fascists that profit from war by selling weapons of mass destructions like Lockheed Martin. They should be careful of what they are wishing for cause they might just get what they want and more. They are playing a dangerous roullette here and Karma is a biatch! Nothing is permanent in this world and if history serves us right, Mexico will rise again and will not only catch up with the rest of North America economically but may even surpass them. Soon, it will be the Americans who will want to climb the fence to Mexico because it will become better to live south of the border. I can guarantee that if the Liberals Agenda loses next election and the Fascist, extreme right wingers and tea partiers win, the USA will become like a NAZI Germany. McCain is already giving a small hint of what’s to come.

  • medeliaright
    26 June 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Isn’t that’s what most of Americans would love to do these days, live elsewhere and enjoy the exchange rates. I won’t go through the details of what and where they do their lovely trips but it’s the truth.

  • Delia
    27 June 2013 at 5:29 am - Reply

    No matter what dainty, sparkly euphemisms open-border advocates like Jose Vargas try to impose on the American people we will always know what they are – lawbreakers, cheats, and scammers.

    • medeliaright
      27 June 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

      What part did you understand and did not understand about the article. Vargas clearly said the border security isn’t just enough and you said that he’s an advocate of open border? Bakit ang hilig mong kumontra na mali mali naman ang pagkakaintindi mo sa pinaguusapan??

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