Saturday, November 26, 2005

Immigration Backlogs and Undocumented Filipinos

Due in large part to long wating periods facec by legal immigration categories, the number of undocumented Filipinos living in the United States continues to rise and is now estimated at around 200,000. A U.S. citizen parent petitioning for an adult son or daughter from the Philippines must wait for 14 years before he or she can immigrant. Petitioning for a brother or sister takes longer -- as muhc as 22 years. According to the 2000 Census, there were 1.9 million Filipinos living int he country. Of the total 32% are U.S. citizens by virtue of birth, 41 percent are naturalized citizens, and 26 percent are lawful permanent residents. Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American community in the United States; Chinese Americans are the largest group.

The Washington-based National Federation of Filipino American Associations and the Asian American Justice Center are calling for comprehensive immigration reforms to fix what they say is a broken U.S. immigration system and to reunite Filipino American families.

Source: Manila Mail, NOv. 18, 2005

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