Filipino DREAMer Faces Deportation

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SAN FRANCISCO — Supporters are lobbying to stop the deportation of 31-year-old Filipino, Jose Isabelo Librojo, who has been an undocumented immigrant since 1995 when he was only 15 years old.

Librojo is considered one of the young undocumented immigrants who would benefit should Congress approve the federal version of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act, would give undocumented students brought to the US as children an opportunity to get an American citizenship.

Librojo came to the U.S. with a valid visitor visa in 1995, when his family filed an application for political asylum. He obtained secondary education from Westmoor High School in Daily City, and moved on to earn a degree in Biology from San Francisco State University.

Carrying an employment authorization card issued every year, Librojo is working as a full-time registered dental assistant and dental laboratory x-ray technician.The petition to stop Librojo’s deportation has gathered over 3,000 signatures and a number of testimonies and sympathetic messages as of Tuesday.

The Librojos are appealing to legislators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Rep. Fiona Ma, principal author of the legislation that encourages schools in California to include the contributions of Filipino war veterans in their social studies curriculum.

His supporters are seeking to gather 5,000 signatures for Librojo. According to the petition, Librojo—a resident of San Francisco—“has been approved for an I-140 immigrant visa, which will allow him to adjust his status and become a permanent resident [or] green card holder.”

However, the template letter attached to the petition said Librojo “received a bag and baggage letter” from DHS in June, saying he was to leave the US on Aug. 2. The government unit has since refused to reopen his case, which puts a halt to his 10-year battle for permanent residency.

A few days before he received the letter from the DHS, a memorandum from Morton’s office—dated June 17—was released, providing a set of guidelines on how to deal with what the Obama administration called “low-priority deportations.”

The new policy “allows DHS to review deportations on a case-by-case basis,” giving leeway to young immigrants who do not have any criminal record and those that do not pose risk to national security. Petitioners for Librojo’s stay cited the recent development from the US government, saying the Filipino has been a law-abiding citizen.