Malacañang hopes that President-elect Joe Biden would relax immigration policies for overstaying Filipinos in the United States so they could fix their documents and legally work there despite their status.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration wishes Filipino migrants would get better treatment, especially the undocumented ones.
“Sa larangan ng immigration, inaasahan natin na sana magkaroon ng policy shift under a Democratic administration dahil napakaraming Pilipino na naninirahan sa Estados Unidos,” Roque said in a media briefing on Monday.
(In the field of immigration, we hope to have a policy shift under a Democratic administration because there are so many Filipinos living in the United States.)
“Bagamat merong ilan sa kanila ay ‘yung mga tinatawag nating TNT o mga ilegal, napakalaki namang papel ang ginagampanan nila sa Estados Unidos at mabigyan sana sila ng pagkakataon na maging legal (na residente),” he added.
(Although some of them are what we call TNTs or illegal ones, they play an enormous role in the United States and would have allowed them to become legal residents.)
There are an estimated four million Filipinos in the US, and around 50 percent are registered voters.
Meanwhile, the Philippines ambassador to the United States Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez also expects changes in immigration policies under Biden’s administration.
Palace hopes for immigration ‘policy shift’ under Biden admin
Last week, Romualdez said that around 350,000 overstaying Filipinos in the United States face deportation.
Some political analysts believe that Biden’s victory will benefit the Philippines.
As the longest and strongest ally of the Philippines, it is said that the relationship between the Philippines and the United States will be strengthened because Biden values democracy.
As a Democrat, the Biden administration may investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings and human rights violations under the Duterte administration.
On the West Philippine Sea issue, Manhit believes that the United States will uphold the Philippines’ victory over the disputed territory because one of the principles of the Democratic Party is to respect the international rule of law.