LOS ANGELES — It’s an issue that hits close to the Filipino community, and has become the subject of President Donald Trump’s orders on immigration.
From the travel ban on Muslim majority-countries, to changes in entrepreneurial visas, to crackdowns on illegal immigration, to sort out any of the possible confusions; the Pilipino American Bar Association held this forum on the state of immigration under the Trump administration.
“There’s so many changes taking place, and President Trump has a lot of modifications he wants to make in the immigration system for employment-based visas also removal cases, individuals really need to know what their rights are, whats going on, and to be informed,” said Allison Aquino-Silva from PABA Advisory Board.
“The situation is changing under Trump and if you’re an attorney working in this area, you need to pay attention, and if you’re an immigrant in this community, you also need to pay attention to whats happening, and you need to stay informed,” said Richard Loew, immigration lawyer.
Immigration experts explained to fellow lawyers, community leaders, students, and immigrants themselves that many of Trump’s orders have widened the definition of who’s eligible for deportation. They say one of the biggest challenges is identifying the rumors, the fake news, and false optimism.
“Clients basically would want to get a deeper understanding of what’s going,” said attorney Ed Lindain. “There’s some conflicting information, and it depends who you’re talking to. Sometimes one topic would have different versions, and clients are just left wondering who am I going to believe, and what’s the real score?”
One speculation that made it’s rounds was a list claiming the Southern Philippines was part of a second wave of travel bans. However, attorneys explain that despite the ongoing crisis in Marawi, they are not expecting the travel ban to expand anytime soon.
“With the problems that the travel ban has already encountered, in the courts and with the public in general it would be very hard to add additional countries to that travel ban,” said Aquino-Silva.
While these lawyers will do the work when it comes to court cases, the legal process, and proactive remedies, Aquino-Silva says the public needs to do their part in asking their lawmakers to find solutions to the country’s immigration issues.