Proposed US green card restrictions worries bishop

Proposed US green card restrictions worries bishop

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. ANALYN PERUCHO

By CBCP News

September 25, 2018

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop has expressed concern for overseas Filipino workers who could be barred from US green cards based on the use of public benefits.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said the move could have a chilling effect for green card holders, especially for low-income immigrants.

“It’s disheartening news, and could cause difficulties for our immigrants,” said Santos, chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.

Still, the bishop advised the OFWs to follow the US immigration law so as not to “jeopardise” their immigrant status.

“We, Filipinos abroad, are known as very law abiding, hardworking and helpful,” said Santos, who is also a member of the Geneva-based International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC).

“Let us pray and hope that there would be changed of hearts and their laws would be best, beneficial to all,” he added.

The Philippine government earlier assured assistance to OFWs who will be affected by the proposed policy announced by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Under the new rules, immigrants who legally use public benefits like food aid, public housing or Medicaid could be denied green cards.