Integrated Bar of the Philippines public forum addresses changes in Public Charge law, WW2 vets benefits


DALY CITY – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) – California Chapter conducted a public forum engagement on Knowing your Rights and Immigration Updates last August 24, 2019 at the Hillside Park Clubhouse.

The forum lasted for three hours with moderators and lawyers Cesar Fumar and Jeanne Serrano Kouznetsova, It started with a  prayer led by lawyer Manuel Mallabo followed by the opening remarks of lawyer Flomy Diza, followed by lawyer Pres Ordinario introducing  Daly City Mayor Raymond Buenaventura, the guest speaker.

After the guest speaker spoke, Know your rights was discussed by the panelist Consul Vanessa Bago-Lllona from the San Francisco Philippine Consulate General.

Diza  focused on rights at home; lawyer Evelyn Alfonso, rights at workplace and lawyer Melba Cawit, rights at public places.

Immigration Updates was reported by the panelist Consul Dominic Xavier Imperial from the San Francisco Philippine Consulate General.

Alfonso focused on expedited removal; Cawit, Public Charge Benefit and Diza, on Filipino World War II Veteran Parole.

Then the panelist opened the floor for follow-up questions and clarifications from the audience.

The program then ended with closing remarks from Alfonso.

Details of the public forum were as follows:

Cawit said the Public Charge law applies to persons trying to become US immigrants. The law does not allow said persons to avail of US benefits including cash assistance, Medicaid, housing subsidies and  food stamps. If the applicant is found availing of the said benefits, he will automatically be disqualified from getting a green card.

There are actually over 500, 000 applicants and an estimated of 300,000 applicants are at risk.

According to Executive Vice President-IBP Cal Chapter Alfonso expedited removal is the process getting deported right away without a hearing.

Diza said a petition can take 10 years to allow children of vets over 90 to stay in the US to care for their parents. But a parole authorization can get approved within three years. He advised veterans to take advantage of this before it gets shut down. By Trixia Abrera