Undocumented Filipinos Are Living a Special Nightmare in Trump’s America

[Read Alyssa Aquino’s article: http://fpif.org/undocumented-filipinos-are-living-a-special-nightmare-in-trumps-america]

Surprising numbers of undocumented immigrants are coming from Asia. Filipinos are one such group.

Many US residents simply do not realize that the annual limit on permanent resident visas has put some families and individuals waiting for a decade or more. Using simple arithmetic, one can determine that a family reunification visa applicant from the Philippines could potentially wait over 20 years before the pending application is approved.

A long-standing relationship between the nation of the Philippines and the US began with the end of the Spanish American War. Student called Pensionados arrived first; welcome and even sponsored to come study at US Universities. Laborers came next. In the vacuum left unfilled with the Chinese Exclusion laws on the books, and the push to remove Japanese labor from the fields of Hawaii, California and Washington State, laborers emigrated to work in a number of industries. Farming, canneries, fishing, railroads, were just a few of the industries where Filipinos, men only, found themselves.

They too would lose this status in 1934 and the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act which included a clause allowing for Philippines independence after the Second World War. This made it possible for 50 (fifty) Filipino immigrant applicants to be admitted into the US annually. Subsequent laws would change that to 100 persons annually; and that too was changed. However, the number of applicants denied or unprocessed each year adds to the number of people left waiting.

Creating this backlog has repercussions, and the nation is now seeing that effect.

From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How America’s Source of Immigrants Has Changed in the States, 1850 – 2013

Explore the top countries of origin for immigrants in each state from 1850 to 2013.

Immigration by country of origin 1850 to 2013

Source: From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How America’s Source of Immigrants Has Changed in the States, 1850 – 2013

How the entire nation of Nauru almost moved to Queensland

Nauru Phosphate

From The Conversation, online publication

By Jane McAdam

“Nauru is best known to most Australians as the remote Pacific island where asylum seekers who arrive by boat are sent. What is less well known is that in the 1960s, the Australian government planned to relocate the entire population of Nauru to an island off the Queensland coast.

The irony of this is striking, especially in light of continuing revelations that highlight the non-suitability of Nauru as a host country for refugees. It also provides a cautionary tale for those considering wholesale population relocation as a “solution” for Pacific island communities threatened by the impacts of climate change…”

Read More Here or Click on the Image Above


How do we deal with the coming waves of climate change refugees?

Cyclones Australia.NASA

From The Conversation, online publication

By Jane McAdam

“On average, one person is displaced each second by a disaster-related hazard. In global terms, that’s about 26 million people a year.

Most move within their own countries, but some are forced across international borders. As climate change continues, more frequent and extreme weather events are expected to put more people in harm’s way.

In the Pacific region alone, this year’s Cyclone Winston was the strongest ever to hit Fiji, destroying whole villages. Last year, Cyclone Pam displaced thousands of people in Vanuatu and Tuvalu – more than 70% of Vanuatu’s population were left seeking shelter in the storm’s immediate aftermath.

However, future human catastrophes are not inevitable. The action – or inaction – of governments today will determine whether we see even greater suffering, or whether people movements can be effectively managed…”

Read More Here or Click the Image Above

Supreme Court rejects effort to grant American Samoans U.S. citizenship at birth

american-samoa-113759_960_720This happened a few months back, but it raises questions about sovereignty, the legacy of or existence of modern American imperialism and more.

1899 marked the year that birthright citizenship was formalized for those people born in the United States are automatically citizens. We can thank Wong Kim Ark for that!

But what about the American territories around the globe? What rights to citizenship do they receive?

“Those born in the other U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Marianas — all get citizenship at birth, but that was determined by statute in Congress. No such statue exists for American Samoa.”  Technically, what the people of these territories receive is the status of “non-citizen nationals.

Yet– a statute in Congress does not exist? Has it been a question raised in Congress? Or is this the first attempt at gaining rights for American Samoa born?


Whose Voice Matters?

In the last post we watched Anh Luu talk about her life as a chef, a Vietnamese American, and her take on blending the many sides of her own cultural identity.

Compare the way this story below begins with Anh’s profile video, even though this video describes an Australian perspective, we can examine the stark differences in narrators and the sources of the narrations.

  • How might hearing her story told by someone else change the way we see Anh?
  • Who is the protagonist of Anh’s story? Who is the protagonist in the second film?
  • Why would it matter who the protagonist is when learning about a person, community or nation?

This is of course a more difficult comparison to make with our younger students but a rewarding conversation to have.



(ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION OPTION: This second film can also be used by teachers in class to make the comparison with current refugee and immigration issues facing the world and our nation.)

In particular, around the 3:40 mark, point out how many young men arrived on the boat, and why the Australian government kept the boat’s arrival a secret.
How  many non-white Australians was enough to scare the population?
Discuss the importance of fear in the immigration/asylum debate.

What Purpose Do Ads Such as These Serve in Public/Civic Discourse?


“As an alumnus of University of Missouri and citizen of Missouri for the past 40+ years, I am deeply disappointed with the utilization of anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim rhetoric that portrays Asian Americans in a derisive light…”

— Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis President Al Li

Read his full statement here.


The article from NBC News can be found here: Article


[Teachers: We suggest using this lesson plan from our Honoring Our Journey curriculum set to encourage student discussion and dialogue on the issue of reinforced stereotypes in the media.