Migrante to Trump, Duterte: Stop criminalization of migrants

Migrante International, the largest alliance of OFWs and families across the globe, strongly denounced the anti-migrant policies and pronouncements of US President Donald Trump in a rally held at the US embassy in Manila today.

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Trump’s policies has resulted in the arrest and detention of im/migrants in the US, majority of whom are Muslims. The arrests and rights violations followed Trump’s issuance of several executive orders banning the entry of Muslim refugees from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria in the US and ordering the mass deportation of undocumented migrants in the country.

“The Trump administration is keen on focusing on migrants and minorities to distract Americans against the much bigger problem of the neoliberal crisis fatally affecting the economy of the United States. Filipino migrants stand in solidarity with Muslim refugees and migrants of other nationalities in resisting Trump’s racist attacks. It is only through our solidarity that we can fight against US exploitation and fascism. Migrante is one with migrant organizations from various countries in combatting the Trump administration’s repressive policies,” said Mic Catuira, Migrante Secretary-General said.

Catuira further called on President Trump to end threats of deportation of Filipino im/migrants in the US.

He also slammed President Duterte’s statement that he “will not lift a finger” to help the more or less of 310,000 undocumented im/migrants in the US under threat of mass deportation.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are currently 3.4 million Filipinos in the US, second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of Filipino populace. Of the 3.4 million, around 310,000 are undocumented and are vulnerable to Trump’s repressive policy.

“It is the PH government’s duty to assist all our kababayans abroad, regardless of their status. Do we turn our backs on them when they direly need the help of their government? Should any harm befall our kababayans in the US, Duterte will be to blame if he continues to refuse to lift a finger for them,” Catuira said.

The PH government’s position calling on all undocumented Filipinos in the US to “just come home” is also a very naive and insensitive stance.

“Like all other OFWs, they were forced to seek better pastures in the US due to widespread joblessness, contractualization and low wages, landlessness and lack of basic social services. Over the years, OFWs in conflict-ridden areas have opted to stay and risk their lives and welfare because they know that no jobs await them here. What is the Duterte government’s plan for them should they get deported?” Catuira said.

The plight of OFWs against racism, xenophobia, rights violations and fascism in host countries is a very important agenda in the GRP-NDFP peace talks. ###

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