An estimated 10,000 Filipinos may be affected by the United States’ new immigration policy, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
The agency said it will assist the 10,000 Filipinos who may end up deported as a result of Washington’s decision to rescind a program that allowed undocumented immigrant children to stay legally in the US.
“We will authorize with certain limitations the use of the Assistance to Nationals Fund and the Legal Assistance Fund to assist immigration-related cases such as those arising from the decision of President Trump to revoke the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals or DACA,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
The statement was made after US President Donald Trump announced that he is revoking the DACA program and gave the US Congress up to 5 March 2018 to come up with a law that would prevent the deportations of as many as 800,000 people covered by the program.
“While we hope for the best in the form of a legislative solution, those affected should likewise prepare for the worse,” Cayetano said, adding that other possible legal options for the affected Filipinos are being explored.
Quoting Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., the DACA program was covered by an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2012 that was envisioned to protect undocumented immigrant children from deportation.
The program does not lead to US citizenship but renewable every two years.
“The DACA program provides temporary legal status that allows qualified undocumented immigrant children from the Philippines and other countries to stay, study and work in the US,” Chuasoto said.
Data from Chuasoto said that 300,000 of 3.4 million Filipinos in the US are undocumented. JE
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter
September 06, 2017