New policies for immigrants are possible under the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden, the Philippines’ ambassador to the United States (US) said.
In an interview on Unang Balita on Monday, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez cited that more immigrants were deported during Barack Obama’s term than Donald Trump’s four years of leadership.
“Sa tingin namin dito, posibleng magkaroon ng ibang patakaran itong polisiya ng Biden administration. Ganunpaman, lahat naman ng immigration policy ay dumadaan sa US Congress,” Romualdez said.
“Tignan natin kung anong nangyari during the Obama administration, mas maraming na-deport kaysa sa past four years ng administration ni President Trump, so hindi natin alam kung ganun din policy na magiging aggressive ang deportation cases.”
Meanwhile, vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, has been vocal about being a daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India.
Last week, Romualdez said 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.”
New laws for immigrants possible under Biden admin – PH envoy to the US
Despite the figures, Romualdez said the Filipino community in the US maintains a “very good” image.
“There’s very little Filipinos involved in any kind of crime,” he added.
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey estimated over 3.8 million Filipinos. In 2018, the American Community Survey estimated the population of Filipinos in the United States to be over 4 million.
Meanwhile, Romualdez said the impact of Biden’s victory on the Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and the Philippines would depend on the mutual defense board’s decision.
“Lahat naman ‘yan nagbabago ‘yan depende sa ating bases board. Meron tayong mutual defense board na nagmi-meet at least every year,” he said.
“Pag-uusapan how we will proceed in the next year and see how we can either continue with the VFA or palitan nating ng something more acceptable to both parties,” he added.