Community Action Stops Deportation of Bay Area Filipino: Bay Area Dreamer Saved at the Airport
JB at the San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, ready to abide by the deportation order (Photo: Ryan Leano).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 November 2011
Contact: Annie Sayo
NAFCON Nor Cal Regional Coordinator
San Francisco, CA–On Saturday night, November 12, Jose “JB” Librojo was already packed and waiting at San Francisco International Airport, reluctant but ready to follow orders of deportation by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). Following a week of community actions in support of JB, he was unsure whether or not he would be in San Francisco watching the Pacquiao-Marquez fight with family and friends, or on a long plane ride back to the Philippines; a place he hasn’t called home in over 15 years.
Upon hearing about JB’s case, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) coordinated intense advocacy efforts in partnership with JB’s friends, family, and many other community groups like Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE) and Justice and Immigrants in San Jose urging Senator Feinstein and other government officials to act on his behalf.
NAFCON hosted a press conference, made hundreds of phone calls and faxes to government officials, offered services through Migrant Heritage Center’s Atty. Arnedo Valera, and sent out online petitions to stop his deportation, which led to Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Dianne Feinstein writing letters of support for JB to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Finally, while at the airport ready to check in for his flight to the Philippines, JB was notified at the very last moment that he would be allowed to stay in the U.S.
“I’d like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, especially NAFCON, and Change.org, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have this exposure,” JB said. The publicity and mobilization around JB’s case proved to be the difference, especially after all his legal battles and an employer petition were exhausted.
“We were very fortunate in JB’s case that coordinated community mobilization turned the tide for one California Dreamer,” said Terrence Valen, NAFCON President. “Unfortunately, with no action from the Philippine government, including the local Philippine consulate, over 1 million Filipinos in the U.S. suffer the indignity of being here without status, many driven out of the Philippines by a Labor Export Policy that exploits the vulnerability of migrants like JB and their families.”
Valen called for sustained action in JB’s case and those of other Dreamers and undocumented migrants, saying, “All of us who supported JB should continue to work together for comprehensive immigration reform so that all hard working Filipinos and other immigrants like JB can stay in the U.S. legally and not be treated inhumanely.”
NAFCON urges the entire community to continue calling DHS, Senator Feinstein, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and ICE to allow JB to stay indefinitely, and implement the June 17 Morton Memorandum immediately for all similar cases.
With this victory, NAFCON reiterates its call for “Full Legalization for All,” affirming that laws in this country must not criminalize nor persecute immigrants, but instead protect them as they seek better lives for themselves and their families and contribute positively to this country.
For more info on NAFCON or JB’s case please contact Annie Sayo, NAFCON NorCal Regional Coordinator at (408) 637-0547 or go to www.nafconusa.org.