LOS ANGELES – A 31-year old kababayan who requested to remain anonymous said he lost his caregiving job following a health problem that he suffered for months. He has no permanent place to stay and he is undocumented.
He hopes President Obama will be able to pass a comprehensive immigration reform this year.
Though developments in immigration reform have been slow, he remains optimistic.
“As long as they are talking about it, it’s always something that you hope and pray that it will happen and you’re always looking forward to it,” he said.
Last week, House Republican leaders released their immigration plans that outline a path toward legalizing the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US including the estimated 300,000 Filipinos. However, their reform plans do not include a pathway to citizenship.
Democrats insist on a path to citizenship or nothing.
"Kahit hindi kami mabigyan ng citizenship, para sa akin sa opinyon ko, ok lang as long as magkaroon kami ng legal status kasi very important yung you could roam around yung di ka natatakot," he said.
Over the weekend, top Republicans lead by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said though they want to improve immigration reform, border security is their top priority.
Ryan also doubts that an immigration reform bill will be passed this year.
For Filipinos, the granting of Temporary Protected Status or TPS to the Philippines is another option to attain temporary legal status.
TPS is a US humanitarian form of relief that, if granted, would stop deportations and provide temporary work authorization to undocumented Filipinos who could continue to support their families and remit money to the Philippines after the Yolanda tragedy.
For nearly two months Advocates of the TPS have said the Department of Homeland Security is still reviewing the request and observing the situation in the Philippines.
With no signs of being granted soon, others have lost hope.
"Sa haba ng nilakbay niya from November 15, nung talagang mainit pa yung Yolanda issue, hanggang ngayon parang medyo malabo na. I’m kind of losing hope,” he said.