Noriko, the 13 year old Japanese girl born to Filipino parents
Undocumented Filipino man and his wife, Arlan and Sarah Calderon left Japan yesterday under a deportation order, leaving their 13-year-old daughter behind Noriko, who was born in Japan and currently attends a junior high school in Warabi. Noriko was allowed to remain but his parents must go. But what moved me most about this incident was on how Arlan's coworkers have rallied around him and more than 19,000 signatures have been collected on a petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to give him special permission to stay in Japan. But to no avail.
The following are excerpts from the Japan Times online
NARITA, Chiba Pref...Earlier Monday, relatives and colleagues of Arlan Calderon, 36, and his 38-year-old wife, Sarah, gathered at the family's home in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, to bid the couple farewell. "We will be waiting for you (to come back)," said construction worker Yasuhisa Nagashima, one of Calderon's colleagues, adding that this is not "goodbye." While expressing sadness, Calderon said: "I want to thank everyone. Not just the people of Warabi, but those across the nation for supporting me and my family's cause. "Noriko (their daughter) is here, so I hope we can return to her side as soon as possible."
The family had long been seeking special permission for residence for the entire family. But while the Justice Ministry granted their daughter special permission to stay, it refused to extend the permission to the parents.
Here's the irony. There are ten of thousands of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and even Koreans live illegally in the Philippines for years. Yet the Philippines remains one of the lowest record of deportation cases against illegal aliens (not to mention the "lagay") in Asia. Truth is I grew up in an area in my hometown where a small Indian community (we called them Bombay and 5-6), resides and most of them stays illegally. Ask any Filipinos on why they think we are allowing these "illegal" immigrants to stay in the country, they would just shrugged off their shoulders and replied that they too have sons, daughters, parents and other relatives living either legally or illegally in other countries so why bother to kick this people out of the Philippines who are also seeking better lives like we do? It's all about the sense of "utang na loob" which other nationality may find it hard to understand.