MANILA—United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim said on Tuesday that the U.S. continues to welcome Filipino citizens in his country.
During the Makati Business Club General Meeting, Kim made the statement amid the uncertainties of the immigration policy of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“I will emphasize that despite many rumors out there, we continue to welcome Filipino visa,” the U.S. envoy noted.
He mentioned that the U.S. embassy here last year processed 230,000 visas for Filipino citizens.
He added that the Embassy will improve the process of getting visas and make the process more efficient for Filipinos.
Last week, Trump signed an executive order restricting citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to enter the U.S. for the next 90 days .
The executive order is also suspending the U.S. refugee programme for 120 days while banning Syrian refugees until further notice.
The U.S. envoy, however, clarified that the decision of the White House to issue the executive order has nothing to do about racism, but driven by concerns over security.
“As you know, the U.S. is not the only country that struggles with this issue of how you would remain as open as possible, but at the same time, make sure the country, to do anything possible, to make your environment safe for your citizens,” said Kim.
“But the America we know has always been very open. We have always been welcoming immigrants,” the envoy added noting that he is an immigrant and also Trump’s grandfather.