Friday, February 3, 2017

Gov't seeking more info on Trump immigration policy –DFA

The Philippine government is seeking more information from United States authorities regarding President Donald Trump's new immigration policy, specifically on how it can affect undocumented Filipinos there.
"We endeavor to provide advice to Filipino communities in the US on the basis of complete and accurate information," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement Thursday.
"To this end, our officials have requested relevant US authorities to share details regarding the orders, the enforcement and possible implications of these orders," it added.
Trump signed on January 25 an executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen -- from re-entering the US for 90 days. He also suspended refugee resettlement for 120 days.
However, a US federal court has halted implementation of the order.
The DFA said the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General will closely monitor developments related to Trump's EO and will extend appropriate assistance should it affect any Filipino.
"The Philippine Embassy and Consualtes General are ready to extend appropriate assistance to Filipino citizens in the US who may be affected," the DFA said.
New EO includes 'southern Philippines'?
Meanwhile, law firm Hammond Law Group LLC said the Trump administration is drafting a new EO expanding the scope of the ban.
The firm said the EO, which "may be published within the next two weeks," will include Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, southern Philippines, trans-Sahara (Mali), and Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral.
Hammond Law Group advised citizens from the said countries to refrain from travelling outside the US and exercise extreme caution.
"We have no choice but to suggest that nationals from any country on this new list (without regard to their immigration status) refrain from traveling outside the US until such time as we know more about this proposed Executive Order," the law firm said.
"It is entirely possible that this information is either inaccurate or incomplete; however, the severe consequences of being denied re-entry into the US would suggest extreme caution is justified at this time," it added.
Authorities have yet to confirm the veracity of the said draft EO. Joseph Tristan Roxas/KBK, GMA News

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