By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – The city that never sleeps will not sleep on your rights as immigrants, even if you are undocumented. This was the assuring message of the office of Mayor de Blasio to members the Filipino community here who are wary of the impending crackdown of undocumented immigrants as avowed by the Trump administration.
Susana Pereyra, neigborhood organizer of the Office of Immigrant Affairs of the Mayor de Blasio and Pura Cruz, immigration outreach organizer of the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, spoke at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate General on immigration rights and rudiments of impending deportations.
Pereyra said that New York City is committed toward inclusiveness and making sure that policies that keep immigrant families intact are being implemented.
Filipino leaders here are bracing for the inevitable. Consul General Tess Dizon de Vega had repeatedly assured the community of the Consulate’s legal assistance and support in times of distress. The 2010 US Census has placed Filipino immigrants to have reached 3.75 million where about 7.6% may be on undocumented status.
During the 3rd General Assembly of the east coast Filipino American communities on February 18, 2017, De Vega had conducted a town hall meeting with the office of the NYC mayor to educate Filipinos of their rights in an attempt to assuage rising fears.
Immigrants comprise 40 percent of the entire population, and are substantially embedded in the economic sectors here. Filipinos are the second largest Asian immigrant group in the US, following the Chinese.
Pereyra cited executive orders 34, 41, and 120 that provide services regardless of immigration status, confidentiality, and access to study languages other than English, respectively, for immigrant families.
“As a sanctuary city, we are committed to inclusiveness and the protection of families,” she said.
In the neighboring Jersey City, Yves Nibungco of the Office of Welcoming Communities, emphasized that they are intensifying efforts to educate immigrants of their rights. Jersey City, also a sanctuary city, has the highest Filipino population in the East Coast.
Bergenfield council president and lawyer Arvin Amatorio had articulated in the Makilala TV that immigrants must immediately notify their lawyers in case of impending deportations so that appropriate legal action could be readily made.
In Melbourne, Florida, meanwhile, National Federation of Filipino American Associations president Brendan Flores, said in an interview with #Getreel and OSM! online magazine, that his organization is gathering resources in order to respond to the needs of Filipino immigrants who may be impacted by the intensified deportation drive of the Federal government.
Flores was a special guest of the Filipino athletes organization Space Coast Pinoys during its 4th Awards Night and Pre-Valentine Fund Raiser. Florida is the fourth state which has the highest concentration of Filipino immigrants, following California, Texas, and Nevada, respectively.
For further information and assistance: