Undocumented Filipino students risk arrest, protest mass deportations

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 18, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Dozens of undocumented immigrants engaged in a civil disobedience last night in front of the San Francisco Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement with over a hundred of their supporters from Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights (ASPIRE), Asian Law Caucus and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).

Emmanuel Valenciano and Dean Santos, both undocumented Filipino students, risked arrest and deportation, just to tell the Obama administration to stop the tearing families apart. They were among those who blocked a bus, filled with people about to be deported.

“The government is not listening to us so we’re going to stop this literally with ourselves,” Valenciano said. “I know we’re not going to completely stop it—but we’re sending a message that we’re fed up. I’m fighting for what’s right and I’m here for my community.”

“If the government is not doing anything, the community has to stand up and fight back,” Santos added.

Santos, who was placed in deportation proceedings in the past, said he knows what it’s like to be in that bus…to be scared.

“I’m not scared anymore,” he said. “Look at the power of this community, the power we have right now.”

President Barack Obama may have recently renewed the push for immigration reform, following the end of government shutdown. But these protesters said the deportations have not stopped. The Obama administration is reaching a record two million deportations, and last year alone spent more than $18 billion on separating families.

“So we are saying, ‘Not one more deportation’,” Jun Cruz of NAFCON said. “It’s not a crime to support your families. It is not a crime to escape poverty and it is not a crime to come here for a better livelihood.”

At the end of the five-hour protest Valenciano and Santos were threatened by police with a felony false imprisonment charge for holding the bus filled with undocumented immigrants — hostage.

But citing the sanctuary policy, no arrests were made and no one was handed over by federal agents.

ICE officials have not made a comment following the arrest.

For these protesters, a just and humane immigration reform should be the solution and should be the only recourse for a government that, they said, needs to listen to its people.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

10 Comments on this post.

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  • Xerex
    19 October 2013 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Paano ba nagsimula ang problema na ito? Kung payagan manatili ang mga undocumented immigrants, sino ang dapat managot sa mga problema na ito? Gobyerno ba o yung mga nagdala sa mga immigrante par amaging undocumented?

    • VA
      21 October 2013 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Sisihin nyo ang mga consuls, sila ang nag aaprove ng mga visas eh….

      • Delia
        21 October 2013 at 11:16 am - Reply

        @VA , the consulate has done their job in good faith , they did’nt know this people who applied has other intent . So , why dont the applicant tell the consulate upfront what their intentions are ? If the applicant told the truth , we wont be in this mess in the first place . Blame is always on the person who has bad intention Period .

  • Kikay Pang0
    19 October 2013 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Stop creating more incentives for illegals , they ‘re criminals spawning babies leeching too much on US govt, ,….. they don’t like being called “Illegals” , they prefer “Undocumented” to make them feel better . … its time to corral them like cows and let them find other country who’s willing to adopt them.

    • Jorge Buesa
      19 October 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

      KiKay PangO your right ! They’re criminals, lock of them up in the Federal Jail ! And deport them to the philippines. They are the ones that’s causing a lot of problems in America.

      • Jorge Buesa
        19 October 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

        I made a mistake in my comment ! I was trying to say, lock all of them up in the Federal Jail.

  • Jorge Buesa
    19 October 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Hey Jun Cruz, It’s not a crime to support your families. It’s not a crime to escape poverty. But if you come to America the wrong way ? It’s a crime !

  • Jorge Buesa
    21 October 2013 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Look at all of them on tv, don’t they know the laws of America. They sound Dumb when they say that we have to take care of them. Go back to your country, let your country take care of you all ?

  • VA
    21 October 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Totoo naman ang sinabi nila eh diba.. tulad ng sinabi mo nung bago ka pumunta dito sa states.. Un nga lang syempre magbabago ang isip pag nandito na.. Tignan mo sarili mo? Hindi ba nagbago ka na?

    • VA
      21 October 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Anong say mo, Delia?

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