Under a Biden administration, PH hopes for shift in immigration policy
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday expressed hope for a policy shift in immigration and for undocumented Filipino immigrants to get a legal status under the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.
“Pagdating sa larangan ng immigration, inaasahan po natin na sana magkaroon ng policy shift under a democratic administration,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when asked what Malacañang hopes for a Biden administration.
(When it comes to immigration, we hope there will be a policy shift under a democratic administration.)
“Dahil napakarami pong Filipino na naninirahan sa Estados Unidos at bagamat merong ilan sa kanila ay yung tinatawag na TNT (tago nang tago) o ilegal e napakalaking papel ang ginagampanan nila sa Estados Unidos at mabigyan sana ng pagkakataon na maging legal sa Estados Unidos,” he added.
(Since there are many Filipinos living in the United States and some of them are called TNT or in perpetual hiding, or illegal, they have a big role in the US and we hope they’d be given a chance to become legal there.)
Under the administration of incumbent US President Donald Trump, the US Department of Homeland Security imposed a one-year ban on the issuance of nonimmigrant working visas, H-2A and H-2B, to Filipinos from Jan. 19, 2019 to Jan. 18, 2020.
It cited concerns on overstaying and human trafficking.
Before the ban expired, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new list of countries whose nationals are eligible to receive H-2A and H-2B visas, but this excluded the Philippines.
Asked what the President’s stand is on the incoming Biden administration, Roque said Duterte is “keeping an open mind.”
“Other than congratulating him, I think the President is keeping an open mind as he should. It will be a new start but we have no prejudgments as far as president-elect Biden is concerned, other than the position that we’re able and willing to work with all leaders of the world,” Roque said.
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