Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Wednesday that around 350,000 overstaying Filipinos in the United States face deportation.
“There are about 350,000 Filipino who have been overstaying here in the United States [who] are on hold,” Romualdez said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel. “They’re in court right now, deportation court.”
Despite the figures, Romualdez said the Filipino community in the US maintains a “very good” image.
“We are known as good workers, and so, quite honestly, both Democrats and the Republicans have been very kind to a certain extent to Filipinos,” the ambassador said.
“There’s very little Filipinos involved in any kind of crime,” he added.
Further, the ambassador said a “good number” of Pinoys are serving as COVID-19 frontliners in the US, which ranked number one in terms of infections worldwide.
“They are very much appreciated,” the Filpino diplomat said.
“When I speak with many of the US senators, both Democrats and Republicans, we don’t agree on many issues that they throw our way, but we end up agreeing on one thing: They like the Filipino community here in the United States,” he added.
About 350K overstaying Pinoys in US for deportation – PH envoy
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey estimated over 3.8 million Filipinos in the United States. In 2018, the American Community Survey estimated the population of Filipinos in the United States to be over 4 million.
According to Shouse California Law Group, the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) sets forth numerous grounds for the deportation (“removal”) of non-citizens. Common grounds for deportation from the United States include (but are not limited to): Criminal convictions, being in the U.S. unlawfully, and fraud.
It added there are five major categories of criminal convictions can result in deportation (“removal”) from the United States:
- Aggravated felonies
- Crimes involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”),
- Drug crimes
- Firearms offenses, and
- Crimes of domestic violence
The US is currently conducting its election with Filipinos divided between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.