MANILA- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is urging undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) based in the United States to return home before US President-elect Donald Trump assumes office in January, Palace officials said Tuesday.
The call came amid the threat of massive deportation of illegal immigrants should Trump stay true to his campaign promise of sending undocumented migrants in America back to their home countries.
Should undocumented workers decide to come home, the DOLE will be ready to provide assistance, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
"Labor Secretary Bello said, 'Ang end program of our President is to bring back our OFWs so we already established a mechanism for businesses and employment opportunities,'" Abella added.
Without providing numbers, DOLE said Trump's policy will only have minimal effect since most OFWs in the US are legally employed, Abella said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he respects Trump’s views on immigration and he hopes the incoming US president will be fair to illegal immigrants.
“I trust in his judgment and that he would be fair [on] the matter of the treatment of illegal immigrants," Duterte said.
“I cannot talk for the illegals because… an illegal is always illegal so he is subject at any time for deportation," Duterte said.