10,000 Filipinos face possible deportation following Washington’s cancellation of the childhood amnesty program
The Philippine government vowed to assist the estimated 10,000 Filipinos who may face deportation from the U.S. after Washington ended the amnesty program that allows undocumented immigrant children to stay legally in the U.S.
"In any event, we are ready to welcome and assist our kababayans in whatever way we can if they are returned to the Philippines," said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in a statement released on Wednesday as quoted by state-run Philippine News Agency.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented during the term of former U.S. President Barack Obama protects around 800,000 children brought to the U.S. illegally as minors from being deported to their respective countries was announced as cancelled by President Donald Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions on Tuesday.
"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 DACA," Cayetano said.
He called on the Filipino Community in the U.S. to actively support efforts for the passage of the legislation that would benefit immigrants enrolled in DACA.
"While we hope for the best in the form of a legislative solution, those affected should likewise prepare for the worst," he said.
Chargé d'Affaires Patrick Chuasoto of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. said that around 310,000 of the 3.4 million Filipinos in the US are undocumented.