Filipinos should make their voice heard for 'compassionate' immigration reform

IMMIGRATION CORNER - Michael J. Gurfinkel () - December 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Filipinos have tremendous power when they unite and vote. Jasmine Trias reached the semi-finals of American Idol because Filipinos banded together and voted for her. Again, Charice was the 2009 winner for Oprah’s Most Memorable Music Performance, because Filipinos voted. While these matters related to entertainment, it still shows that when Filipinos raised their voice, they were heard.

Right now, there is something much more critical for Filipinos, where their vote and voice can make a difference. That is with Immigration Reform. Recently, a bill (proposed law) was introduced in Congress, called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009, providing for visa reforms, and legalization for undocumented aliens (Titles III and IV of the bill). You need to let your Senators and Congressmen know that you support “Compassionate” Immigration Reform, which will end the long separation of families, enable your kababayans who are in the US to legally find a path to legalization, and end the long waiting times that families must endure to be reunited, due to long visa backlogs, etc.

For so many years, those people who wanted strict immigration laws (that emphasized enforcement), were the only ones who were speaking out and being heard. That’s why nothing was really being done in terms of proposals for amnesty, legalizing TNTs, etc. — because only advocates or supporters of harsh, strict immigration laws were contacting their Senators and congressional representatives.

I know how important immigration is to Filipinos. Almost everyone has a family member who may be in the US illegally, wants to emigrate to the US from the Philippines, or simply wants to share in the American dream. Now that there is finally an immigration bill that addresses these vital issues, you need to speak up, and find time to let your Congressmen and Senator hear your voice. Find out who your Senators and Congressmen are and write, call, or email them. For example, to locate your Senators and Congressman, you can go to and at the top, click “Contact elected officials”. For your US Senators, fill in your state, and the names and addresses of your two US Senators for your state will appear.

For US Representatives (Congressmen), click US Representatives, and type your zip code at the top of that page, and it will tell you the name and address of the Congressman for your district.

You need to let them know your position, by mail, phone, email, etc. Your letter can let them know that you support legalization of TNTs etc:

“Dear Senator (or Congressman):

I support Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a compassionate approach to addressing our immigration issues. I support the provisions of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for American Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP Act of 2009), that address visa reforms and earned legalization for undocumented aliens. These people have worked hard, sacrificed much, and deserve to share in the American dream. Accordingly, I urge you to support those provisions of this bill.”

Believe me, if enough Filipinos speak up about favoring comprehensive (or Compassionate) immigration reform, your voice will be heard, just like it was heard with Jasmine Trias and Charice. Let’s show Congress the power of the Filipino voice. Contact your elected representatives now.

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Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; NEW YORK : TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465)


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