A Filipino who was recently deported from the United States hopes that his story will make undocumented immigrants more aware about their legal options to fight deportation.
"Kailangang maging handa sila sa lahat ng pwedeng mangyari. Yung hotline ng PWC (Pilipino Workers Center) kahit sino sa pamilya nila mayroon sila noon," Rey Galleon said on ANC's News Now.
Galleon was sent back home to the Philippines on March 17 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel went to their home in Southern California asking neighbors about his and his wife's whereabouts.
PWC said had they been contacted immediately, they would have provided support to Galleon
Galleon said he has been out of status for seven years. The former crew member who jumped ship is the first known undocumented Filpino in Southern California to have been arrested and deported by ICE since President Donald Trump took office.
"Normal lang ang buhay din namin, 'yun nga lang mahirap humanap ng eksaktong pagkakakitaan kasi wala kang papel," he said.
A week after his deportation, his wife and their two children followed suit.
"Ipinapabenta na lang namin sa mga kakakila doon kung may makakabili sa mga gamit na naiwan," he said.
Galleon thought that ICE would first process undocumented people with criminal records.
"Lahat ng nagsasabi na malamang may nagsumbong
sa akin. Hindi ko naisip yung teoryang iyan kasi wala akong naapakang iba. Nagta-trabaho ako para sa pamilya ko," said Galleon.
Asked if he still wants to return to the U.S., Galleon said, "Hindi siguro, saka na lang siguro."
"Ang sa akin lang, para maging aware kababayan natin na nag-TNT doon...kung ano mapupulot nila sa story ko, kung anong maitutulong sa kanila," he said.
Galleon will address a group of undocumented workers via Skype at the Filipino Workers Center during a Know Your Rights Workshop.