Trump policy will have 'minimal effect' on US-based OFWs, says Bello
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday urged undocumented OFWs in the United States to return to the country amid the threat of massive deportation of illegal immigrants once US President-elect Donald Trump assumes office in January.
"Mas mabuti nga na umuwi na sila," Bello said. "Huwag na nilang hintayin na mapa-deport na sila. In the meantime, they could act for the legalization of their stay there."
An Agence France-Presse report said Trump will keep his vow to deport as many as three million undocumented migrants from the US after he takes office.
Without providing numbers, Bello said Trump's policy will only have a minimal effect since most OFWs in the US are legally employed.
"Because if you are talking about OFWs that are illegal, very minimal," he said. "Most of our OFWs there are documented and are legal especially our seafarers. Most of them are based in Florida."
"Madami sigurong undocumented na Filipinos doon (US). Pero OFWs wala masyado," he said.
Should the undocumented OFWs decide to come home, Bello noted that the government is ready provide them assistance.
"Ang end program ng ating presidente is to bring back our OFWs, so we already established a mechanism na yung mga business and employment opportunities," he said.