The Philippines is not included in the immigration ban recently issued by US President Donald Trump, a group headed by Filipino immigrants said on Tuesday.
The Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), a non-profit organization run by Filipino immigrants based in the United States, made the clarification based on a statement issued by the US Department of Homeland Security through its spokeswoman Gillian Christiensen.
“Please help us disseminate this information to our kababayan (citizens) green card holders in the US,” MHC executive directors Rev. Arnedo S. Valera, Jesse A. Gatchalian and Grace Divina Valera, said.
Trump’s executive order banning the entry of immigrants had triggered chaos and protest rallies in the US.
The MHC said it has received queries about the refugee ban.
“The Philippines is not included in the Trump ban. The Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, stated the following: In applying the provisions of the President’s Executive Order, I hereby deem the entry of Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) to be in the national interest. If you have questions or concerns, please consult a licensed immigration attorney or an accredited NGO with an in-house attorney,” the group said.
It said Filipinos with immigration concerns can call the law offices of Valera & Associates, and MHC for free legal consultations.
“We have been answering calls and in standby since yesterday because of unprecedented number of inquiries,” MHC said.
A US senior administration official confirmed that green card holders are not covered by the ban.
“Green card holders as a matter of a policy are exempt from the EO (executive order) through the national interest waiver,” he said.
“Lawful permanent residents of the United States traveling on a valid I-551 (green card) will be allowed to board US-bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate,” a Department of Homeland Security factsheet read.