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Repercussions for Filipinos overseas

05:01 AM August 15, 2018

The Bureau of Immigration just might cause big problems for the Philippines with the deportation cases of Australians Sister Patricia Fox and Gill Boehringer.

Many years ago, when I lived in the United States, I went to many anti-Marcos as well as anti-US government rallies. I attended these with Filipino immigrant friends.

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Back then, they were not threatened with deportation. But now, with the nasty rhetoric of the Trump administration, these green card holders could face deportation if they go to antigovernment rallies.

All over Europe, Canada and Australia, anti-immigrant sentiment is also increasing. These nations could soon start deporting foreigners that they do not like, such as peacefully protesting Filipinos.

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How many Filipinos am I talking about?

Millions! There are 10 million overseas workers, some citizens, but many not.

So, let’s skip talking about the democratic right of anyone, regardless of citizenship, to peacefully rally against what they see as an injustice.

Let’s just forget about human rights, because the Philippine government now has no moral justification to defend a Filipino who attends an antigovernment rally in Australia.

If we deport peaceful Australians, why can’t they deport peaceful Filipinos?

And with the way the Bureau of Immigration is going, our government will deny itself the right to defend any overseas Filipino worker anywhere.

All governments should tolerate dissent, or risk destroying democracy. And, in the Philippines, this is a financial necessity for millions.

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JONATHAN C. FOE, [email protected]

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TAGS: anti-immigration trend, Bureau of Immigration, freedom of speech, Gill Boehringer, Inquirer letters, ofws, Patricia Fox, right to dissent
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