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In Wake of DREAM Act Defeat Filipinos Reinvigorate Call for Legalization for ALL

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by kulturalguerilla

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2010

Reference:
NAFCON National Office
info@nafconusa.org

In Wake of DREAM Act Defeat Filipinos Reinvigorate Call for
Legalization for ALL

Just days after the DREAM Act failed to pass in the U.S. Senate, NAFCON reaffirms its commitment to fight for Legalization for All. Rev. Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC, NAFCON President commented, “There are more than one million undocumented Filipinos in the U.S. who have a right to a decent life here in America. Our kababayan should be recognized for their legitimate contribution to this country instead of having to live in the shadows. We must strengthen our efforts to fight for their rights.”

NAFCON is opposed to the criminalization of undocumented immigrants.  Migrants, specifically from third world countries such as the Philippines, are forced to leave their homelands because of the worsening conditions of landlessness, joblessness, and economic hardship. It is this situation of extreme poverty and hopelessness that pushes them to search for livelihood in the U.S. and 190 other countries throughout the world. Rev. Alforque stated, “It is inhumane to criminalize undocumented immigrants because laws should protect people in search of a better life not persecute them.”

NAFCON points to the role of the Philippine and U.S. government in creating the conditions that forced millions of Filipinos to migrate and become undocumented.  Every year the U.S. gives millions of tax dollars to the Philippine government as incentives to implement policies which favor American interests at the expense of the Filipino people. For example the Philippine government prioritizes repayment of its debt to the U.S. controlled IMF/World Bank over the welfare of its people. Rev. Alforque explained, “The Philippines spends nearly 20% of its national budget to debt servicing while the allocations for education, health care, and social welfare combined is 17%.  It is the implementation of policies like these, at the behest of the U.S., that impoverish the Philippines and force its people to seek a better life in other countries.”

NAFCON demands the U.S. overhaul its immigration system to protect all workers, unite families, and unify our communities. NAFCON also calls for an end to U.S. intervention in the Philippines and throughout the world because the issue of forced migration is rooted in the creation of poverty and resulting lack of opportunity in the third world.

NAFCON urges its member organizations and allies to work toward building a mass movement towards Legalization for All and an end to policies causing forced migration. Lyra Ibarra, Chairperson of Active Leadership to Advance the Youth in San Francisco commented, “We need to make certain that all our kababayan are given a fair path to legalization. It is not just those who go to college or who serve in the military that should be recognized, but all undocumented peoples who contribute to this country.”

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The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose California in 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.