Filipino Teachers fight US Deportation Order
Filipino Teachers in Washington DC Save Our Schools Rally Almost 1000 teachers from the Philippines are facing deportation from the US The teachers had been recruited by an agency to teach in the Prince George's County Public School District of Maryland. Last April the US courts found that $4000 had been illegally deducted from the teachers' wages by the school board. But as a result of the ruling the teachers, who have done nothing wrong - unlike the school board and the recruiting agency - are facing immediate deportation. As one teacher told the Philippino Educators' Network website, www.pen-usa.org: “How in the world can I go back to the Philippines in nine days? I have a car loan, doctors’ appointments, financial obligations, etc. My family is with me here, we cannot just pack our bags and go home. This is our life at stake, we need to plan for it! Talk about injustice! They could not even give a 45-day notice like our apartment does." Earlier this week the teachers and their supporters picketed the White House to demand that the teachers be allowed to stay and conitnue with their work and their lives in the US. Last year another group of Filipino teachers in the US - this time in Louisiana - won a court cast with the help of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) against a different recruiting agency which was holding the teachers in 'virtual servitude' - requiring them to pay $15,000 for the privilege of teaching in the US and 10% of their salaries to the agency. As teachersolidarity put it on that case: "This case is yet another example of the global market in education which has been unleashed and has led amongst other things to the takeover of state education by private, for profit firms in many parts of the world. The outsourcing of recruitment to profit making companies is in the same category as the outsourcing of inspection and testing for example which is generating billions of dollars worth of profit for private companies. This latest example shows such profiteering in its crudest form as it seeks to exploit qualified teachers from countries in the global south where teachers’ salaries and conditions of work are very poor." Now when US justice finds that such teachers have been wrongly treated their reward is to be summarily deported.