Palace: New plan no ticket to go TNT in US | Global News

Palace: New plan no ticket to go TNT in US

Malacañang has cautioned Filipinos against using a new US immigration policy promising relief for unauthorized immigrants as a license to go to the United States undocumented.

“[US] President [Barack] Obama said that this will not apply to future cases. There’s a cutoff [date]. So, let’s not think this is license to go anywhere undocumented,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with state-run dzRB radio.

She advised Filipinos who are planning to work or live in the United States or any foreign country in the near future to obey immigration laws.

FACEBOOK PHOTO/Malacañan Palace

FACEBOOK PHOTO/Malacañan Palace

“Please, if you intend to reside or to work in other countries, please make sure that we abide by the proper rules and regulations and that we fulfill all the documentary requirements,” she said.


Welcome action

Otherwise, Valte said, the new US immigration reform policy that is expected to benefit 5 million immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, was laudable.

“This is a welcome action from the president of the United States. Any Filipino citizen who satisfies these parameters, we encourage them to take advantage of the window that was given by President Obama,” she said.

Obama’s directive to overhaul the US immigration system will save 5 million from deportation and allow most to work legally.

End to dragnet

Obama’s new policy means the end of a program called Secure Communities, which had been criticized as a dragnet that led to the roundup of many unauthorized immigrants on minor offenses like traffic violations.


The Philippine Embassy in Washington hailed Obama’s proposed changes in the US immigration system.

“We welcome the recent announcement of President Barack Obama granting immigration relief for undocumented migrants meeting the set criteria,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. in a statement.

cart1123Cuisia said embassy officials would work closely with the US government in order to help undocumented Filipinos living in the United States.

“We will look into this carefully, and determine how we can best assist our kababayan in availing themselves of the protection offered under this executive action,” he said.

According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, undocumented Filipinos in the United States reached 271,000 in 2012.

“You can come out of the shadows,” Obama said during his speech announcing the policy on Thursday.

The new program applies to unauthorized immigrants who are parents of US citizens.

Partial victory for TNTs

Some 4 million people will be eligible for a new legal status that would defer their deportations and allow them to work legally. They will have to pass background checks and pay taxes, but they will be issued social security cards, reports said, quoting officials.

An additional 1 million people will have some protection from deportation through other parts of the Obama plan.

While some Filipino-American groups have expressed their full support for Obama’s policy, others said it was only a “partial victory” for Filipinos because it applied only to parents of US citizens, virtually leaving out a majority of undocumented Filipinos, popularly called TNTs (tago ng tago).

Prize-winning PH journalist

One of the policy’s beneficiaries is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas.

Vargas is one of the 270,000 people eligible for relief under the expansion of a 2012 Obama plan to stop deporting individuals brought illegally as children by their parents to the United States.


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Filipino Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas bats for legitimacy

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Fil-Am Pulitzer Prize winner Vargas detained by US Border Patrol

TAGS: Abigail Valte, Barack Obama, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Global Nation, immigration laws, TNT, US immigration

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