Undocumented Filipino immigrants to be tackled in Obama visit—US envoyBy Julliane Love de Jesus
MANILA, Philippines—One of the agenda of US President Barack Obama’s first visit in the Philippines is to address the increasing number of undocumented Filipino immigrants in the United States, the US Ambassador to the Philippines said.
“Clearly, there will be discussions about economy and trade as well as military and most importantly, people relation because we have 4.5 million Filipinos living in the US. Plus, helping the TNT, they’ll be able to discuss that also,” US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr said on Tuesday.
TNT, an acronym for “tago ng tago” (loosely translated “always hiding”) is a local term that refers to Filipinos who stay overseas without proper documentation and keep hiding from authorities to avoid deportation.
Thomas, in the Kapihan sa Embahada forum, said that the visit of Obama, who he said was “very much looking forward” to the Philippine trip, was “still being finalized.”
The US president, who took office in 2009, will be visiting the Philippines from Oct. 11 to 12 on the invitation of President Aquino.
“As you know, he (Obama) has a very good relationship with President Aquino. You may recall that President Aquino was the first Asean president who President Obama had discussions with in New York,” he added.
In 2012, Aquino met Obama at the White House for a working visit.
In a statement released by the Palace last week, Obama will meet Aquino to “discuss ways to further strengthen the enduring Philippine-US alliance, including the expansion of our security, economic and people-to-people ties.”
His visit to the country is part of a four-nation tour in Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia from Oct. 6 to 12.