General Admission

Biden giving hope to Filipino immigrants?

By Al S. Mendoza


THERE is reason to rejoice for Filipinos still not totally settled in the U.S.

Meaning, those with loose immigration papers may yet realize their American dream soon: Become either American citizens or permanent residents in the U.S.

When it finally bears fruition, they only have president-elect Joe Biden to thank for.

While outgoing president Donald Trump disliked immigrants, not Biden.

Biden welcomes all America-bound races with open arms.

While Trump was indifferent to immigrants to the extent that he wanted children separated from their migrating parents, not Biden.

Biden is for families to be together every step of the way.

While Trump wanted to build a wall to discourage Mexicans from entering the U.S., not Biden.

Biden wants an America united by love and friendship, irrespective of color, creed and belief.

In his first TV interview this week since winning the presidency on November 4, Biden spelled out three major policies in his administration.

First, he would tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the deadly pandemic that Trump had stubbornly scoffed at in the waning days of his presidency.

Second, he would scrap Trump’s anti climate-change policies, particularly the outgoing president’s 11th hour decision to withdraw America from the Paris Summit on global warming thrusts.

And three, which strikes at the heart of the Filipino immigrant, Biden would push legislation to legalize the status of millions of undocumented aliens leading to an American citizenship.

Already, there are more than one million Filipinos in the U.S. and, unfortunately, thousands still are without papers to qualify them as American citizens.

Until Biden came along, I have yet to see an American president exhibiting unabashed support for people wanting to live in the U.S. as American citizens, if not become permanent residents.

Oh, yeah, back in the early days, it was easy to migrate to the U.S.—the reason being that America, fast recovering from the last world war, had badly needed mainly an intellectual workforce like accountants, teachers, nurses, doctors and engineers

We had an abundance of those from the 50’s to the 70’s, and even well into the 80’s.

About more than half of my classmates alone in high school migrated to America after college—many of them with professions mentioned above.

I was just one of a handful that stubbornly stuck to our native land.

During the early stages of their homecoming for our reunions, they’d tease me of my “wrong decision” to forego the American dream.

Aktibista kasi si Al,” some would say.

“Anti-American imperialism iyan,” others would say.

Raising my glass of beer, I’d simply say, “I love my country kasi.”

Later, in our succeeding reunions, they’d sing one similar tune:  “You made the right choice, Al.  Really, there’s no place like home.”

In the end, they’d be saying, almost in a chorus, that the so-called land of milk and honey that is America is no paradise.  The home is.

Will Biden make a difference?

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