What Do You Think…

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, President Donald Trump spoke out against “chain migration” during a cabinet meeting at the Whitehouse. Trump has blasted the practice as a massive immigration loophole that terrorists and “truly evil” people can exploit to infiltrate the U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Trump are shown here (left to right).
Photo courtesy of Associated Press

of President Trump’s position of not allowing chain migration (petitioning your relatives)?

Immigration Reform was recently tied in to the mid-January shutdown of the federal government. Over the past few months, President Donald Trump has attempted to reverse the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 that switched the United States’ immigration policy from one based on a quota system to one based on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the United States. The 1965 law led to the increase of Filipinos residing in Hawai‘i. According to the 2010 Census, Filipinos and part-Filipinos now make up the second largest ethnic group in Hawai‘i.

Since 2000, Hawai‘i’s Filipino community has grown by 24.1%, with an estimated number of 4,000 immigrating each year.

Fil-Am Voice staff asked members of Maui’s Filipino community “What do you think of President Trump’s position of not allowing chain migration (petitioning your relatives)?”

Adel of Kahului with roots in Bantay, Ilocos Sur: “That’s not good. You want to help your relatives to come here so that they can have a better life and the family is reunited. Under President Trump, I could not bring my sister and she couldn’t bring her kids.”

Allan of Kahului with roots in Claveria, Cagayan: “I’m not in favor. I want to bring my family here to give them better life and opportunity.”

Anne of Ha‘ikū with roots in Cebu: “Honestly I have no idea because I don’t have plans to bring my family here in Hawai‘i, they’re fine in Philippines, happy na sila didto, unlike here boring ang life, just work and home lang.”

Aris of Ha‘ikū with roots in Palawan: “I didn’t know that was happening… I don’t agree with it.. Our nation’s foundation is based on migration of families into this country… As long as it’s done legally, I believe families should be allowed to migrate into the U.S.”

Catherine of Kahului with roots in Piddig, Ilocos Norte: “I think that’s not good because I want to bring my family here. My parents still live there and I also have four sisters and one brother and I’ve been working hard to save money so they could come.”

Dibea of Pā‘ia with roots in Manila, Tacloban, Ilocos and Pampanga: “U.S. citizens and green card holders work hard to bring their family in the U.S. to better their future and thus they need to follow the proper rules on migrating to the states. Restricting them from doing this will cause more issues in a negative way than help our country. I truly believe that our President should focus on how to better our country in a way that won’t hurt our legal residents (U.S. citizens and green card holders).”

Don of Kahului with roots in Sampaloc, Manila, Iloilo, Palawan, Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur and Tuguegarao, Cagayan: “I strongly oppose President Trump’s position specifically applying strict scrutiny on our nation’s immigration policy and advocating towards disallowing chain migration. This nation was built on the foundation of immigrants. If not for the relative petition process my own family would not be here in the United States. We share the same visa journey that brought families together to create a stronger and cohesive society. President Trump is attacking the very nature that symbolizes the identity of freedom! When he proclaims that he will make America Great Again… did he intend to do it by creating immigration policies to suppress family values by denying family unity. Is this a form of isolationism that was the national policy during the 1920s and 1930s, that brought about the Great Depression and World Wars? Is this the policy that will make the United States Great Again? In my opinion, isolationism is not the right path to greatness.”

Edgar of Kahului with roots in Vigan, Ilocos Sur: “It doesn’t affect me because my parents have passed away. And it takes a long time so if I tried to bring my twin brother, he would be old by then and he already has a good job.”

Ella of Kahului with roots in Santa, Ilocos Sur: “Well for me parang inaalis na nya ang karapatan ng isang pamilya na makasama nila ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay na naiwan sa Pinas para magkasama sama dito sa U.S. Gaya natin na product din ng isang napetition ng mga kamag anak para maranasan ang buhay dito sa U.S. we have the opportunity to have a better life here. If Trump is against it, how are we supposed to reunite with our family who still live in the Philippines if they are not given a chance to come here.”

Ellen of Pā‘ia with roots in Misamis Oriental: Pres. Trump should follow what is provided in the law if there is a provision allowing chain migration then that should be implemented. He has no reason for disallowing it.”

Geraldine of Kahului with roots in Bantay, Ilocos Sur: “So sad for me. My brother is still in the Philippines and I want him to join me.”

Jane of Kīhei with roots in Makati, Metro Manila: “Of course it makes me furious because instead of uniting the families together, he’s dividing them apart. Restricting legal immigration will totally harm not only Filipino families but also the workforce, the economy, and the rights of the people.”

John Patrick of Kīhei with roots in Gonzaga, Cagayan: “In my opinion this is ridiculous. I do not agree with it. Families should be able to be united together.”

Jorge of Kīhei with roots in Loyola Heights, Quezon City: “At this point i no longer pay attention to anything and everything Trump and his administration say, do, or tweet, and am just waiting for this collective national nightmare to end, so the country can start over fresh….”

Kauanoe of Kahului with roots in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte: “The Trump administration’s attack on family-based immigration is part of a broader effort to reshape our demographics by redefining who is welcome in America. I condemn the biased threats to our legal immigration policies, and urge lawmakers to stand in favor of family unification.”

Kit of Wailuku with roots in Quezon City: “I disagree with most of the president’s policies and the principles he stand for, including this proposal. He will continue to tear families apart and try to uproot American values that has defined this country. But I am also a believer that good will still prevail, I’m just not sure if I have patience to wait for 2020.”

Lei of Kahului with roots in San Juan, Ilocos Sur: “I don’t think that’s right. I want my relatives to join me here to give them better job opportunity. Also we need good workers and Filipinos are very good workers.”

Leo of Kahului with roots in Paoay, Ilocos Norte: “It’s sickening.”

Marietta of Kahului with roots in San Nicolas, Ilocos Sur: “No good, because I want my family to be together so we can help others fulfill the American dream.”

Michelle of Kahului with roots in Pangasinan and Bohol: “I feel that it is wrong. This has been a practice for generations and not allowing it would be devastating to families who have been trying to come to our country for years. It’s just another attempt to prevent immigration completely.”