A Catholic bishop has urged Filipino illegal immigrants in the United States to return home and not to wait to be deported.
“To protect themselves and not to put their future in danger, we advise them not to wait to be branded undocumented and be deported,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga.
The prelate, who heads the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People of the Philippine bishops’ conference, reminded Filipinos to always respect the laws of host countries.
Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello also urged Filipino illegal immigrants in the United States not to wait to be blacklisted by the American government.
The government official said it is better for these Filipinos to come home or try to legalize their stay in the US.
Bishop Santos, meanwhile, welcomed reports that the Philippine government will assist undocumented Filipinos who face deportation with the planned crackdown on illegal immigrants in America.
“It is a serious responsibility for the church and the government to help and assist our illegal immigrants. This is the moment they need us, and we should not fail them,” said the prelate.
There are at least 270,000 undocumented Filipinos in the United States, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.