THE Philippine government is ready to assist the 310,000 undocumented Filipinos in the United States who may be deported due to US President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.
In an interview, DFA spokesman Charles Jose assured that the Philippine Embassy and consulate in the US would continue to extend consular assistance to Filipinos who would be affected by the newly elected president’s immigration policies.
“Our embassy and consulates in US will continue to extend all possible consular assistance to Filipinos who may be impacted by the new US immigration policies,” Jose said.
Although the Philippines is not in Trump’s executive order banning the entry into America of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, but the American president mentioned during his campaign that he would deport all illegal immigrants there.
The DFA’s Office of the Migrant Workers executive directors Raul Dado said the Philippines respect Trump’s order.
“Immigration and deportation are sovereign prerogatives of the US, just like any country, including the Philippines, and are left to the discretion of the host country,” Dado said.
He also refused to comment further, explaining “The issue may be too premature at the moment because it hasn’t happened.”
Citing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, out of 3.4-million Filipinos residing and working in the U.S., there are around 310,000 illegal or undocumented Filipinos there.
Duterte on Monday said he would not lift a finger to help undocumented Filipinos in the US.
“As far as the President is concerned, he will abide by the decision of the U.S. government,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
“Well, they are all under U.S. law, so they should abide.”
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim defended that Trump’s order was not driven by racism but it is meant to protect the American citizens.
“This is not racism. This is not unfair prejudice,” Kim said, although he admitted that there were confusion about the exact parameters of Trump’s executive order.
“How do you remain as open as possible, but at the same time, make sure that you do everything possible to make the environment safe for your citizens? And I think this was reflected in the executive order (which) is an effort to make sure that we are taking appropriate steps to provide the necessary security for our citizens and anyone who’s residing in the United States,” Kim said.