AUGUST 2002
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Two More Filipinos Ordered Deported
From Filipino Reporter
July 12-18, 2002

Two more area Filipinos with outstanding deportation orders have been arrested and jailed by U.S. immigration agents and are expected to be sent home to the Philippines starting next week, the Filipino Reporter has learned.

The two Filipino men whose identities are being withheld by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were separately arrested during the past two weeks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for ignoring previous orders that they leave the country voluntarily.

Both men have no criminal records but violated immigration laws for overstaying despite deportation orders, an INS source said. The arrests came just days after 62 Filipino nationals were deported by the INS on a special chartered flight last June 23. Among them were four Filipinos from the New York tri-state area.

The Philippine Consulate would not comment on the latest arrests saying it has not yet received official notice from the INS, which normally coordinates with the consulates or embassies of the nationals they apprehend for the issuance of travel documents to the deportees.

One of the Filipino men arrested in Philadelphia last week is reportedly being flown to the Philippines sometime next week. The man was said to have received his deportation order in 2000.

The other man, reportedly facing deportation in two weeks, moved to New Jersey to avoid his 1999 deportation order in Los Angeles, sources said. There are already hundreds of illegal immigrants with outstanding deportation order who have been tracked down and jailed by the INS after the 9/11 attacks. But on top of the INS list are violators from countries where terrorist activities have been linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network.

From January to April this year, the INS has identified 321,000 illegal aliens who have ignored orders to leave and has been feeding their names and last known addresses into a national criminal database. There is no available information how many are Filipinos.

People who disregarded orders to leave the country will not be ignored anymore, the INS said.  Only recently, the Philippine Consulate in New York has advised Filipinos with outstanding deportation order to consider going back to the Philippines "voluntarily and peacefully" rather than being picked up and then jailed for months before being deported.

Consul Joseph Gerard Angeles said that while there is no crackdown on illegal immigrants, the INS is seriously tracking down illegal aliens who have outstanding deportation order.

"Usually in the past, even if you have outstanding deportation order but did not commit any crime, the INS would just leave you alone and would simply mark you as having overstayed," Angeles told the Filipino Reporter shortly before he wrapped up his New York assignment and returned to Manila more than a week ago.

"But right now, the INS appears to be actively looking for people with outstanding deportation orders," he said. "If they want to avoid a situation where the authorities actually pick them up in their residence to implement the deportation order, they might want to consider going home voluntarily."

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