Daily Archives: February 14, 2015

DHS SECRETARY VISITS LA, PINOYS UPSET OVER STALLED TPS

EPCC NEWS
February 14, 2015

DHS SECRETARY VISITS LA, PINOYS UPSET OVER STALLED TPS

LOS ANGELES – As the days for deferred action draws near, immigrants and their advocates filled the Los Angeles central library to see the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, one of the authors of the order that will help spare an estimated four million undocumented immigrants from deportation while gaining work and travel permits.

The secretary personally invited undocumented Angelenos to take part in the program.

“I signed it and authorized it and created that program with a pen exactly like this, and ma’am, I’d like you to fill up your application with this pen,” Johnson told one undocumented worker as he gave her one of his own felt tipped pens in a heartfelt moment.

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Los Angeles is expected to have one of the largest concentrations of beneficiaries. The city is urging residents to sign up, offering aid at local city offices.

“Los Angeles 2015 is like Selma 1965; it’s like Delano 1965; it’s like Massachusetts in 2004. Those moments when civil rights moved forward. (sic) That’s what’s happening here in Los Angeles — 550,000 and I call them this: Americans, who want to see their pathway towards integration in this great country,” said LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

While immigrant communities prepare for the executive orders on immigration, Filipino immigrant rights advocates have had a burning question for Secretary Johnson when it comes to aid specifically for Filipinos.

During a question and answer period with the media, community leader Art Garcia raised the question on temporary protected status or TPS for Filipino workers. TPS would grant immigration relief to Filipinos in the wake of recent natural disasters in the Philippines.

FilAms Upset over TPS Delay

“Why has the Obama government not yet approved temporary protected status for the Philippines?” Garcia asked.

“It’s something we’re considering, sir,” Johnson answered.

It’s something here we have been on record in support of,” added Mayor Garcetti.

Filipinos were not satisfied with the secretary’s response. “It’s 461 days. This was endorsed by both parties. Still we get the same answer — still under consideration. I’m not a happy camper today,” said activist Dondi Monzon of the Pilipino Workers Center.

But with or without TPS, the Filipino community and the city will push through with the president’s executive order.

Meanwhile, the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, the extended version of the DACA, will begin in May.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.