Time running out for Pinoy facing deportation

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Nov 10 2011 05:05 PM | Updated as of Nov 11 2011 01:05 AM

SAN JOSE, California - A group of Filipino Americans are hoping and praying that a kababayan, Jose "JB" Librojo, will be be spared from deportation. 

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) organized a forum last night to shed light on JB's plight and discuss ways to help him. 
The 31-year old JB is from Laguna, Philippines. He and his family moved to the US in 1995 after they were granted political asylum visas. 
The San Francisco Bay Area became their new home, and JB went on to graduate with a degree in biology at the San Francisco State University.
He eventually found a job as a dental assistant and got married to his former schoolmate Anna de Gorostiza. 
But his dreams in America were shattered when his family's political asylum visas were no longer renewed in 2005, and they received deportation orders.  
His parents voluntarily left the US in 2006, while his sister moved to Canada. JB and his brother are scheduled to be deported this Saturday (November 12). 
"It's hard to sleep at night. My family is really worried," JB said. 
Anna said, "Everything is on hold --- having a family. It's very hard for us."
JB argued that he should be allowed to stay in the country he now calls home.  He has no criminal record and the Obama administration's new memorandum focuses on the deportation of those with criminal convictions. 
JB also has an approved immigrant petition issued by his employer. He is also eligible for the Dream Act --- if it passes in Congress. The Dream Act allows select undocumented immigrants who went to school in the US a pathway to legalization. 
Fil-Am leaders said it's about time that immigration reform is passed, for the sake of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the nation. 
Chester Abadilla of NAFCON said, "Give them a chance to stay here...a chance to work...a chance to be reunited with their families." 
For now, JB and his supporters are urging his senator, Senator Dianne Feinstein to pass a private legislation so JB could stay.   
His lawyer, Atty. Arnedo Valera of the Migrant Heritage Commission, has also filed an appeal before the Board of Immigration and the Department of Homeland Security. 

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