However, the specific issue of US government policies on Filipino immigrants cannot be examined without taking into consideration the current debate on immigration in the United States under the Bush administration. Last year, hundreds of thousands of legal and illegal immigrants from different countries joined a national day of protest in key cities to dramatize their opposition to the proposal of the Bush administration for stricter control measures to curb illegal immigration, especially through dangerous routes across the US-Mexico border.
While this elicited intense condemnation and protests from a very large multi-cultural immigrant community, it has also received support from mostly Republican-oriented and conservative Americans who view relentless immigration as an affront to home-grown American values and a further threat to the already pressing unemployment problem. Nonetheless, the Bush proposals and the looming crackdown on illegal immigrants stem, as in France, from the prevailing political ideology pursued by the ruling Bush administration –right-wing neo-conservatism, notwithstanding the general conservative ideology of the Republican Party.
Such an ideology, while not entirely averse to immigration per se, would necessarily find ways and means of curbing illegal immigration as it attacks the fundamental interests of their powerful political base – the generally conservative Christian/rural/southern cross-section of the American population. On the other hand, a different immigrant integration policy might ensue if the Democratic Party were to determine such a domestic policy, as the Democrats generally pursue a liberal-center ideology that tends to favor the protection and advancement of the rights and privileges of the country’s growing immigrant population.
More so, a big chunk of its political base comes from the immigrant populations in key cities of the United States such that a policy similar to the Republican proposal would definitely be detrimental to its cause. In all of these, the policy of immigration and integration of the United States, especially with regard to Filipinos, and other races in general, must still be re-assessed and reconfigured if the full integration of immigrants is undertaken as a long-term domestic policy of the US government.
The decades of struggle of the American people against racial discrimination might have even helped many immigrants surmount the difficulty in penetrating American culture and society. But it is still up to the US government if it shall decisively pursue multi-culturalism or further constrict immigrant opportunities in the country. Towards Greater Understanding and Acceptance The current events that transpired in the United States and France refocused the immigration debate in both countries.
While their governments have undertaken different measures to fully integrate the immigrant population to their societies, culture and economy, the tasks of these governments towards this end are not yet over. Sound integration policies of these governments can never be achieved for as long as the prevailing ideologies in these governments consider immigration as a threat to a nation’s economy, culture and values.
There can be no greater understanding and acceptance of a very complex issue such as immigration if a direct, or even tacit, disdain for immigration per se exists as part of the prevailing fundamental ideology in ruling governments.
Works Cited: 1. Migrante International. “Filipino Immigration in America. ” Email to author. April 11, 2007. 2. Constantino, Renato. A Continuing Past. 1987. Coalition for Comprehensive Immigrant Reform. Principles for Comprehensive Immigrant Reform. Immigrant Solidarity Network. (21 March 2007). 10 April