Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pinoys still welcome to US despite Trump's prior 'terrorist' comment, travel ban

Filipinos are still welcome to visit the United States despite President Donald Trump previously branding the Philippines as a terrorist nation and his recent travel ban against select nations.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said they will continue to welcome Filipino visa applicants as they remain an open nation to immigrants, GMA News' Lei Alviz reported on Unang Balita on Wednesday.
"Despite many rumors out there, we continue to welcome Filipino visa applicants. Just last year alone, our non-immigrant visa unit processed more than 220,000 visas for Filipino visa applicants," Kim said.
"The America we know has always been very open. We have always welcomed immigrants. I'm an immigrant. President Trump's grandfather was an immigrant and I don't think that spirit has changed or will change," he added.
Although he admitted a need to clarify details on Trump's latest edict, he defended the order and said it needed time for its "details to be refined."
"I know there's been confusion, a lot of questions and concerns about the exact parameters of the executive order. Unfortunately, it's gonna take some time for the details to be refined," Kim said.
Malaca├▒ang on Sunday said it respects the US' decision to temporarily ban refugees and immigrants as it was their "right" to bar their entry to the country.
Trump issued an executive order on Friday that prohibited visitors, refugees, and green card holders from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen from entering the US. 
Politicians and media outfits called the order a "Muslim ban" as it aimed to turn away even refugees to root out extremists.
Trump initially refuted the term "Muslim ban" and said the order was passed to protect the country from terrorism, though he eventually used the word ban in a tweet on Monday.

Along with including the Philippines in a list of Muslim majority "terrorist nations" occupied by "animals", Trump during his presidential campaign called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" and eventually proposed to enforce "extreme vetting" instead.
His executive order sparked hundreds of protests around the US and other countries including Tokyo, Scotland, and the UK. 
Though a federal judge blocked part of the immigration ban, the order remains in effect.
Furthermore, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired as she "betrayed the Department of Justice" by refusing to enforce the order that attorney generals from 16 U.S. states deemed as "unconstitutional." Rie Takumi/KG, GMA News

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