By Raymund Antonio
The Department of Foreign Affairs allayed fears that plans by United States President-elect Donald Trump to immediately deport or jail three million undocumented immigrants would have a “calamitous impact” on the Filipino community.
Outgoing DFA spokesman and assistant secretary Charles Jose said the planned deportation won’t affect Filipino residents in the U.S. since the vast majority of them are legal residents or citizens who “pay their taxes and generally obey American laws.”
Jose, who is set to become ambassador to Malaysia, added the deportation “occasionally included Filipinos arrested because of immigration irregularities and criminal violations.”
In his first television interview after winning the presidential election, Trump bared his plan to deport or incarcerate illegal immigrants in the U.S.—criminals and those with criminal records, gang members and drug dealers—and to build a wall on the Mexican border as he promised during the campaign.
Jose said Trump’s statements should be put into context.
“For years, the U.S. government has had in place a system where U.S. authorities deport illegal immigrants in a timely and orderly fashion,” the DFA official said.