Contact: Annie Sayo
NAFCON Nor Cal Regional Coordinator
(408) 6 3 7 – 0 5 4 7
Don’t Deport Our Dreams, Justice For All Im/Migrants
(Bay Area) On November 8, 2011, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) held a press conference for eligible DREAM Act candidate, Jose Librojo (JB). Over 50 supporters from various organizations in San Jose came in hopes of helping push forward for his stay on his deportation. The 31-year-old San Francisco State University Alumnus explained to reporters that he is “optimistic” and that he does not want to leave, but will do so in order to follow the law.
JB expressed that he arrived in the United States when he was 15-years-old and that he was unaware that his parents had filed for political asylum at that time. However in 2006, JB applied for I-I40 immigrant visa and was eventually denied. Even though JB has no criminal record and was legally employed in the U.S., DHS refused to reopen his case despite Obama’s June 30 Morton Memorandum, which allows President Obama to exercise his Executive power without waiting for Congres to make a decision for people like JB who have no criminal background.
After speaking to the press and his supporters of his next steps for the following days until his scheduled deportation, the remaining panelists gave their remarks regarding their support for JB.
One of the panelists, Rodrigo Ruiz of Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE), is also an undocumented student and said, “We are a country that prides and parades our supposed values of democracy, justice and compassion and at the same time denies a sector of society to be included.”
AV David of Sandiwa and NAFCON said, “It is inhumane to criminalize undocumented immigrants because laws should protect people in search for a better life not persecute them.”
The others who spoke on the panel were Father Jon Pedigo, who is the Diocesan Director for Justice and Immigrants in San Jose , and Sara Gonzalez of the Filipino Youth Coalition. Both Father Pedigo and Sara declared that JB should be granted to stay in the U.S.
As JB and the rest of the panel concluded with their final statements, JB’s many supporters made phone calls to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Department of Homeland Security, ICE and Assemblymember Fiona Ma to reopen his case and re-adjust his status on the basis of the Employment and Grandfather Provision.
Although JB is scheduled for deportation on November 12, 2011, NAFCON will continue to fight this political battle and hope for a brighter future for JB other undocumented immigrants.
As of 4pm November 9, the Sua Sponte Motion to re-open was filed with the BOA and the application to become permanent resident of the US . JB and Attorney Arnedo Valera of the Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), a member of NAFCON, applied for the green card because it is the last agency of the US government to make an administrative decision. The application has been accepted, which means now that JB’s case is pending, he cannot be deported. Included in the application was a request for stay of removal.
Today, November 10, Attorney Valera filed an appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). JB will receive an application for stay of deportation with DHS on 2 grounds: 1) Copy of the file of the motion to re-open; 2) Arguing prosecutorial discretion since he is not a priority for deportation and has applied for his green card. Under the law, JB has an employment visa and qualifies for the LIFE ACT of President Clinton of 2000, which allows someone with unlawful presence who overstayed to pay a penalty of $1000 so they are allowed to receive a green card in the US . The June 30 Morton Memorandum will also be filed today to the DHS.
NAFCON calls on the larger community to continue fighting for immigrant rights for JB and all im/migrants in the US by pressuring ICE, DHS, Assemblymember Fiona Ma of San Francisco & San Mateo Counties and Senator Dianne Feinstein to implement the June 30 Morton Memorandum and to grant temporary immigration benefits to Dream Act eligible people like JB who have lived here since childhood and he should allow Americans who are sponsoring loved ones to complete the visa process within the United States, a change that would result in the reunification of family members who now face years of separation.
For more information on JB’s next steps until November 12, visit “Stop the deportation of DREAMer JB” on Facebook.
KTVU Channel 2: http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/san-jose-daly-city-man-set-to-be-deported-after/vD69G/
Balitang America: http://www.balitangamerica.tv/running-out-of-time-filipino-faces-deportation/
SJ Beez: http://www.sjbeez.org/articles/2011/11/10/filipino-american-dream-act-student-facing-immediate-deportation/