Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - October 3, 2020

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OCTOBER 3, 2020


RBG’s Death Complicates the Composition, Fate of the US Supreme Court


What Do You Think About Distant Learning vs. Regular Classroom Sessions?


Will Trump Overstay His Welcome?


Deferred But Not Disappointed



Does Trump Deserve Reelection? Immigrant Communities Must Consider His Immigration Policies


ased solely on Donald Trump’s immigration record alone, you would think finding a Trump supporter among immigrant communities like Hawaii’s own Filipino community would be hard and way off the beaten track as we enter the General Election. But Trump has his followers, even here. Some immigrants seem to think Trump’s war on immigrants is not really directed at them but at illegals; or a more heartless but somewhat common outlook for other immigrants (even freshly arrived ones) is that their personal immigration story (themselves and family) is completed – so why worry about other future immigrants. Then there are others who see immigration as a secondary or peripheral issue and they happen to like Trump on other areas. To them, they’re willing to overlook his grotesque, mean spirited attacks on immigrants because these pro-Trumpers (some of them secret supporters) receive favorable tax breaks. Or there are other supporters who belong to a local evangelical church and have been indoctrinated to believe Trump really can do no wrong. That’s what they do there, right? Talk about Trump – the reformed sinner – playing some prophetic role in turning back modern America to circa 1950s America, when simplicity, God, and the American flag waved in front of many households in the heartland.

More hostility against immigrants ahead But before closing the door and ignoring Trump’s massive makeover on the U.S. immigration system in just his first term (not convincing enough not to vote for him), immigrants (even fully naturalized ones) should reconsider, because who knows where he’d be willing to go given a second term, especially since approval ratings would be the last thing on his mind with no third term in the wings. Already about midway of his first term, remember that Trump expanded his anti-immigrant policies beyond the originally targeted illegals (the wall, cancelled DACA, family separation at the border) to include reforms to limit legal immigration (deny asylum seekers, reduce immigration entry by half, reduce visa holders, both skilled and unskilled workers visa, raise legal immigration requirements in English proficiency-education, change the entire immigration system to a merit-based, calculated system and veer away from family-reunification based immigration, limit green cards and citizenship to immigrants who receive government assistance, even temporarily suspending for 60-days most immigration and processing). And if that wasn’t enough -- Trump already showed his true colors and went beyond the pale into political absurdity when tried to go after already naturalized citizens. By the way, a special new section within the Justice Department is still doing precisely that – looking for already naturalized citizens (some who have been citizens for many years) and hitting them up with deportations for fraudulently obtaining or failing to disclose information when applying for citizenship. Imagine the fear even naturalized citizens have had to endure in Trump’s first term, thinking if they had made a mistake or overlooked something years ago, that they too could face deportation. In 2017, 2,500 new denaturalization investigations opened. In 2018, the DHS created the Los Angeles office for denaturalization; and in 2020, the DOH opened a department dedicated (continue on page 3)



rump versus Biden. The General Election is just a few weeks away and the presidential race is heating up. The stakes have never been higher for the future of our nation and the two, practically complete opposites, are making their 11th hour appeal to the mostly undecided voters. Most Americans, as most polls show at this time, have already made up their minds. But there are also still left a massive sector of traditionally “non-voters” not yet registered, but plan to vote for a first time. For our cover story this issue, HFC associate editor and veteran political analyst Edwin Quinabo reports on who Filipinos will be voting for and some reasons for their decisions. The nonprofits AAPI Data, APIA Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC released a national poll showing 52 percent of registered Filipino voters say they will vote for Biden compared to 34 percent for Trump, 12 percent undecided, 2 percent prefer another candidate. Recapping our earlier HFC poll in July: Hawaii Filipinos preferred Biden at 30.5 percent over Trump 24.5 percent with 45 percent undecided/refused to say. As we move closer to the election, it appears the previously undecided are making their way to the Biden tent. In yet another poll, conducted by the National AAPI Power Fund and the National Education Association that focused on younger Asian voters, Biden showed a commanding lead over Trump, 73 to 17 percent; the undecided were 10 percent. Also in the cover story, a few registered Filipino Hawaii voters share their pick and why. Some have said while they’re not too enthusiastic over Biden, they view him as the anti-Trump choice, citing among the current president’s faults – his xenophobic policies that are hurting our immigrant community, his divisiveness, and his threat to social programs like Medicare and Social Security. In the AAPI Data survey, Filipinos list highest among their priorities as Jobs/Economy, Healthcare, Education, and Racism/Racial Discrimination. With a majority of Filipinos planning to vote for Biden, it suggests dissatisfaction with the nation’s poor economy, out-of-control pandemic (plus the recent threat of dismantling the ACA), and poor leadership in uniting the country as cities experience massive street protests over abusive policing on Black Americans. Also in this issue, HFC columnist Elpidio Estioko writes “RBG’s Death Complicates the Composition, Fate of the US Supreme Court.” Our second editorial addresses this very issue how a stacked conservative court will have major ramifications on all aspects of our lives. The unfair rush to fill RBG’s vacancy before the election is actually making the election more urgent as some believe the only remedy to address the Trump-McConnell stacking (unfairly) is for Dems to win both the presidency and a Senate majority to reverse the damage, and possibly increase the number of SCOTUS justices. In HFC columnist Emil Guillermo’s article, he writes about the possibility that Trump would not accept the results of the General Election and remain in office. Of course, his justification for staying would be massive mail-voting fraud, which all experts are unanimous in saying mail-voting is secure and there is no historical precedent of elections cheating, and certainly not of the magnitude Trump has been describing. Pre-election is already turning out to be dramatic. Now it appears alarm bells are ringing that post-election could be extraordinary and could require SCOTUS to intervene, which doesn’t bode well for voters as Trump by then would potentially have three of his nominees on the High Court. Lastly, be sure to read our other interesting columns and informative news in this issue. We’d like to emphasize how important this General Election is. Our community must respond to the urgency and vote. We know many of our isle ohana have family on the mainland. Please reach out and remind them to vote as well. Until next issue warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



2020 Election Is Far More Consequential with the Passing of RBG


eral funds. She’s ruled in favor of voting rights and equal pay. As an attorney, she also helped men in receiving the same rights as mothers for childcare and helped widowers receive Social Security as widows, helping both sexes having greater equality. RBG’s lifetime work could be summarized as great victories that helped to bring about justice and fairness under the law, above all. Yet, her untimely death (before the presidential election) puts the nation in a heated political battle over “fairness” and hypocrisy in agreeing to the right time to fill RBG’s replacement. Ginsburg’s dying wish, according to her granddaughter was that she not be replaced until the new president is installed. But that dying wish is not the source of unfairness.

mericans are still mourning the loss of a legal giant – U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (known as RBG) who passed away from pancreatic cancer. The second woman justice ever to serve in SCOTUS after Sandra Day O’Conner, RBG will go down in history as someone who’ve helped all women move closer toward achieving equality under the law. Besides being a woman, RBG was also unique to SCOTUS as a religious minority (Jew) and daughter of immigrant parents. A “triple minority,” she has broken down barriers her entire life at a time when White patriarchy was so dominant. In a case she ruled with the High Court’s majority against Virginia Military Institute, she Timing to fill in SCOTUS vaset precedence in banning sex cancy – pure hypocrisy discrimination from admission The unfairness is rooted in to institutions that receive fed- 2016 when Sen. Mitch McCo-

nnell (majority leader) refused to allow a vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to SCOTUS. McConnell said at the time, Garland’s nomination was too close to the election (200 days away) to fill the high court vacancy. Fast forward to today, just a few weeks away from the 2020 presidential election, McConnell pledged to swiftly fill RBG’s replacement potentially before the Nov. 3 election. Legally the Senate could fill the vacancy even after Nov. 3 in the lame duck session until the 2020 election victors are sworn into office in January 2021. On Sept. 26, President Donald Trump nominated conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace RBG’s vacancy. Democrats say what this basically amounts to – should Trump and McConnell succeed – is the unfair appointment of two conservative SCOTUS associate justices centered on a made up rule

(Does Trump...from page 2)

to just this pursuit. Both former Republican and Democrat presidents have avoided denaturalization for the most part and only sought it in extreme cases. Immigration experts say this is one area Trump could expand further if reelected. David Bier, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute was correct when he said, “Bottom line is that if you can ever lose your citizenship for any reason, you don’t have equal rights and aren’t a real citizen.” The facade of going after only illegals already has been lifted. That was a 2016 Election deception. We see most unfair changes (or attempts) to immigration has been focused on “legal” immigration. Should Trump get a second term, this will most likely be the area of focus. The traumatization of immigrants will continue. His nativist platform will shape policy and make it even more difficult for legal immigration. His hate rhetoric will continue to embolden racist Americans to express hatred openly toward immigrants and people of color. Data shows hate crimes have been on the rise since Trump’s inauguration.

Naturalized immigrant or not, neither would shield you from racist vitriol, physical or verbal, you might encounter in your daily living going about your way at public spaces. Overall toxicity and a feeling of not truly belonging will be pervasive in some communities, which would be turning back progress of diversity and acceptance. And the big question mark is no one really knows how much farther Trump would be willing to go down the rabbit hole. What new hateful policy would he shove down via Executive Order. The new, soon-to-be 6-3 Conservative United States Supreme Court majority (Trump nominated three of them) would make it easier for Trump in a second term. And he’s already had success in pushing the boundaries on immigration at SCOTUS his first term. And voting Americans must never forget the immoral policy that amounted to government-sanctioned child abuse, of separating children (as young as toddlers) from their mother or father at the border. That was arguably the most un-American,

pushed by McConnell at first saying a SCOTUS appointment should not be appointed in an election year, then McConnell backtracking on his earlier rule so that he can make this latest confirmation. The entire flip-flopping reeks of bad politics. And could have major ramifications lasting generations.

What a third Trump appointment to SCOTUS could mean A third appointment would leave SCOTUS in a 6 to 3 conservative majority. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would be the only true liberals (RBG was the senior liberal associate justice). Justice Stephen Breyer has sided with liberals at times; and the current Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with liberals even less. The remaining justices are true conservatives; and Barrett, if confirmed, would solidify their majority by a wider margin. What this could mean in shaping policy through precedent? At stake are major reversals in current laws such inhumane act committed during as the potential Trump’s first term. dismantling of the Affordable Immigration should matter high Care Act (or up among other top issues parts of it), an Besides the economy, usualend to reproly a singular issue like immigraductive rights, tion wouldn’t make or break a a rollback of presidential candidate. There are many women’s other issues: how well has the and civil rights President handled/is handling the hard fought COVID-19 pandemic; how is he responding to BLM, policing reforms and civil unrest; what about climate change. Is the president an autocrat? Has he been good for the economy? And on and on. But back to immigration -immigrant communities ought to judge whether Trump should be given a second term based on his immigration policies. As immigrants, we owe that at least to ourselves and our community. If our own immigrant communities throughout the U.S. are not caring and not making it a top issue given Trump’s extraordinary efforts to make immigrants lives a living nightmare – why should any other group care, either? Make it a top issue and go out to vote.

over generations; the weakening of anti-discrimination laws and protections given to the LGBT community. Immigrants, the elderly, the poor, people of color, labor unions, workers, people with disabilities and voters could all potentially see current rights stripped away as conservatives fight to challenge established policies in employment, housing, education, government, voting and corporate regulations. The balance of power would not only take a dramatic shift at the Judiciary, but could also have broader ramifications undermining years of policies established by previous Congresses and presidents, as well as future ones. And all that imbalance of power would have been bestowed upon SCOTUS unfairly, specifically two associate justices. The second Trump appointment (three in total) is accepted to be fair.

By the numbers As of press time, at least two Republicans recognize the unfairness, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, both of whom said they would not support a rushed replacement. All that’s needed are two more Republicans besides Murkowski and Collins to suspend a replacement and allow the next president to fill the vacancy. (continue on page 6)





onald Trump’s critics have called him a dictator, “liar-inchief,” “the worst president ever,” and endless other unprintable names. To his die-hard base, Trump is no ordinary politician. He’s a political and cultural savior who can do no wrong, has proven to be bullet-proof time after time from all controversies, even impervious to the “BIG I” (impeachment). But more stunning than the long list of political and personal embroilments he has weathered, is Trump has managed to keep his core base support of 40 + percent even as the CDC reports over 7 million COVID-19 cases, 203,180 deaths in the U.S. (as of Sept. 26) – the worst infectious and death rates in the world by far. Whether Trump’s handling of COVID-19 could have been better handled is debatable. But to have any sitting president during a tragedy of this magnitude (not to mention deepest recession ever) to still be in contention, and possibly win reelection, is as peculiar as the rare blue moon to appear this Halloween. In many ways Trump is the political Superman of our time; or to others the Dark Knight millions fear. But whichever characterization voters chose, he’s nothing short Filipino and Asians as a whole: who are they supporting? Given the hammering immigrants sustained at the heavy-hand of Trump for almost four years, it could be perceived as a surprise that he still has a fair amount of support among Filipinos nationally. According to a recent survey (up to Sept. 10, 2020) by the nonprofits AAPI Data, APIA Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC -- 52 percent of Filipino registered voters say they will vote for Biden compared to 34 percent for Trump, 12 percent undecided, 2 percent prefer another candidate. In the same survey, collectively among all Asian Amer-

of towering strength. His political brand -polarizing and attention-grabbing -- has kept everyone intrigued 24-7 for years now. Stepping into the fray to challenge Trump in the General is three-time presidential candidate Joe Biden, a political heavyweight and establishment darling. Tested in truly significant ways personally, Biden survived the loss of his 30-year-old wife and 13 month old daughter in a car accident; and later a son who died from cancer in his 40s. Biden is certainly character-tested and resilient, in ways beyond politics like Trump. But that’s about where similarities end. It’s fair to say Biden is politically “old guard” as the former Vice President which is both his weakness and appeal. But he has also shown to be flexible to changes in the primary, showcasing his Biden 3.0 version. Perhaps the prized mano-a-mano titan who would have been better matched to box the distance with Trump was runner-up Bernie Sanders. But Biden as a knock-out, “in-your-face” politician – that was never his strength; his strong suit is more akin to what Obama was, a bridge-builder, unifier, and arguably the antidote some believe is needed to heal the unprecedented strife prevailing in com-

ican groups, the breakdown was 54 percent Biden to 30 percent Trump. Biden enjoyed the highest support among Asian Indians (65 percent) and Japanese (61 percent). Trump had the highest support among Vietnamese at 48 percent, the only Asian group having Trump ahead of Biden (36 percent). In a post-election poll conducted in 2016 by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 79 percent of Asian Americans said they voted for Hilary Clinton, while 18 percent chose Trump. In comparing the two national polls on Asians, Trump actually has improved his support among Asians; or inversely Clinton was far more appealing a candidate than

Biden is for Asian Americans. The HFC poll taken earlier in the year from July 3 through July 12, had Hawaii Filipinos for Biden at 30.5 percent over Trump 24.5 percent with 45 percent undecided/refused to say.

Locals on the General Election Maribel Domingo, a retired accounting clerk, Ewa Beach resident, said she plans to vote for Biden because she believes Trump is too divisive. She said while she is a Democrat, her vote is more an anti-Trump vote than a proBiden vote. Her first pick in the Primary was Sanders. “Even though Biden is not the ideal candidate for me,

munities throughout the nation. Some historians say only in the Civil War has the country seen worst division than today’s acrimony; which metastasized almost immediately after Trumps’ inauguration. While the 2020 Presidential race is between Trump and Biden, it’s also reasonable to say it’s a race between Trump and everyone who wants Trump out of office. It also has been a contest between Trump and the Democrats, collectively, that includes their party’s all-stars from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to rising personalities like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) who have all been taking their best shots at the pollsteady Trump.

Trump cannot be given a second term because our country is being torn apart. Who knows how much worse it would get. Already we’re seeing violence in the streets across the country and Trump hasn’t been the leader to bring healing. Trump has been a president only to his base and has never made attempts to bring Americans together. But I don’t think that is even an effective strategy politically because a 40 percent base is not enough to win reelection. But you never know with the Electoral College. It will depend on the swing states. “His attacks on immigrants is also a big problem for me. My parents came from the Philippines. My husband is also an immigrant from

the Philippines. I take his devaluing of immigrants’ contributions to our country as a personal attack on me and my family. Immigrants are great for our country. But Trump lies about immigrants and makes us look like bad people. What Trump is doing is wrong. “His repeated attacks on immigrants is just scapegoating and completely unnecessary. I know it’s a ploy to appeal to his base. But he does that at the expense of hurting the millions of immigrants in this country, millions of immigrants who are proud Americans who love our country,” said Domingo. Precy, 23, a student in Kahului, Maui (requested to (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (from page 4)

have her surname withheld) also said Biden is not the ideal candidate, but plans to vote for him because Trump is an even worse choice. “Neither candidate is a good choice for the presidency, but Biden is all we have. He wasn’t one of my top choices from the Democratic party, but he is clearly the better candidate among the two. I’d rather Biden have a chance at making changes for the better than the misogynistic, racist, hypocritical man currently at the White House,” said Precy. This 2020 General Election will be Precy’s first time to vote. She said in the past she believed her vote didn’t matter so she hasn’t voted. “I will vote this time to ensure Trump doesn’t win again.” She said while the stimulus check was great, “it does not change my opinion about the current president, and it never will. One seemingly generous act does not make up for a lifetime of despicable ones. Any policies that seek to eliminate any choice or protection concerning reproductive health, rights of LGBTQ+ people and people of color are deplorable. “I have not been personally or directly affected by Trump’s policies, nor am I part of the LGBTQ+ community, but I am a person of color, and those policies could affect me and my loved ones in the future. I do not understand why people think they can control others or why others think that people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community don’t deserve to be treated as humans,” said Precy. She said some people do not want to get involved in politics or vote because of the deeply ingrained corruption, deflection by politicians and their refusal to provide basic human rights to everyone. But she’s seen, since Trump took office, how politics can take a turn for the worse and affect people in ways that cannot be ignored. Leon Albayalde of Pearl City, a registered Democrat, said he is voting for Biden because he is concerned about Medicare and Social Security. He’s approaching retiring age and wants to make sure these social programs are protected.

“I know Trump says he is for protecting Medicare. But that is a lie because he has recommended twice in his presidential budget priority to Congress to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The Democrats have proven their commitment to these programs. Republicans, not just Trump, have talked about saving both programs, but have proposed privatization. In former president Bush’s case, he wanted to turn Social Security into a private voucher system. “People cannot just trust politicians’ words. They will lie and sometimes do something completely opposite from what they are saying. “Trump is a terrible president, lousy person. But for me, it’s about the issues, specifically these senior programs,” said Albayalde. Maridel Ramos, Waipahu, Medical Assistant, said she is voting for Biden. She said she gets stressed just watching him on TV. “The way he carries himself and what he says are disturbing.” She also doesn’t agree with the President’s use of social media. “Tweets are so informal and should not be how presidents communicate.” Las Vegas resident and frequent Hawaii visitor CJ (requested anonymity), a female small business owner and federal contractor, politically Independent voter, said she will vote for Trump. She said she doesn’t like Trump as a person, but she agrees with his policies and what he’s done so far for the country. On trade with China, she said “I’m so happy that finally someone has stood up to China. The Chinese themselves have been laughing at the U.S. for getting what they themselves would not have allowed the U.S. to do to them. Patents and technologies that our lawmakers allowed China to steal. Biden was in office for 8 years and yet he was more concerned about climate change than what the U.S. was losing. “China was basically asking U.S. imports to meet their expectations such as giving their technologies but would not do the same for their businesses in the U.S. China took advantage of U.S’s benevolence - this includes Biden! He

just turned his head the other way. We lost so much during the peak of manufacturing in this country,” said CJ. Data show that the U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned under both the Obama and Trump administrations. According to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) the U.S.’s trade deficit with China grew over the course of Obama’s presidency, reaching $375 billion at the end of 2016. During Trump’s presidency, the deficit ballooned to an all-time high of $418 billion in 2018. Trump has levied tariffs; China retaliated. The tit-fortat trade war with China has slowed down China’s trade advantage, but not in a meaningful margin just yet, analysts say. CJ says there is new support for the awarding of government federal contracts. She said this helps the local economy and levels more fairly the playing field with more opportunities for Americans to compete. “So many back doors were used and continue to be used by foreign nationals in their effort to get Federal contracts,” said CJ. CJ says she also supports the President’s calling on other nation’s to pay their fair share in supporting international organizations like WHO and UN-backed initiatives. She agrees with Trump’s hardline stance on immigration: “I am an immigrant myself and there is a legal way to become a resident, then a U.S. citizen. Why should others think they can bypass the process and aggressively push their way into the country? He (Trump) has placed America first as his priority.” On immigrants and social welfare she said, “what’s the incentive for taxpayers to continually fund illegal immigrants? Why should taxpayers pay for others who come here illegally and even become demanding and entitled to benefits that many of us worked hard for and earned?” Immigration advocates argue illegal immigrants also pay taxes, sales tax, sometimes income tax, and rent, which helps landlords to pay for their property taxes. Illegal

“There is a real political transformation among younger Asian American adults registered to vote. In the last presidential election, only about half of younger Asian American adults registered to vote, and this survey indicates that more than 7 in 10 are now registered for the upcoming election. A remarkable shift!”

—Paul Ong

a research professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs immigrants on payroll also pay for Social Security and Medicare taxes but do not take advantage of the benefits because of their status. Money that illegal immigrants contribute helps to fund social programs that American citizens can apply for. Illegal immigrants do not qualify for government assistance. CJ also says “Why do we have to have ballots in different languages? Why do we have to have interpreters? It’s the responsibility of the immigrant to learn the language of the country they chose. If I move to Latin America, it’s up to me to learn to speak Spanish so I can assimilate to the culture I want to join.” Samuel Sonson, a Trump supporter, also likes what Trump is doing with trade specifically the reforms made to Nafta and for pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Sonson credits Trump for improving the economy and creating

more jobs, and claims the U.S. economy was “the best in the world before COVID-19 hit.” He cites others reasons for supporting Trump including making the country more energy independent, rebuilding the U.S. military, securing the Southern Border, and maintaining law and order in American cities where riots have occurred. He also believes Trump’s response to COVID-19 was quick by stopping flights from Europe and China into the U.S. early on. “Thousands more could have died had it not been for his bold action,” said Sonson. A regular voter, Sonson said he considers himself to be a Conservative Independent. He claims under Trump, he has benefitted from his IRA and other investments in the stock market. He also refinanced his mortgage to take advantage of the very low interest rate. (continue on page 6)



Nov. 3 Election, Register to Vote Now!


lection season is upon us again. Make your voice be heard by registering to vote and placing your vote on the Nov. 3 general election! Don’t forget to register to vote by Oct. 5. It’s now easier to register online via

olvr.hawaii.gov. The online voter registration takes less than five minutes to complete and all you need to provide is your Hawaii Driver’s License or Hawaii State ID and your social security number. You have to be a U.S. Citizen, Hawaii resident and at least

18-years-old. The Clerk’s Office will review and approve your voter registration application. Prior to the election, you will receive a notification postcard in your mail indicating your voter registration status. Can’t make it by the Oct.

If you have not responded to the 2020 Census yet, respond now! Time is running out and every count matter. The Census data aids govern-

ment officials in budgeting and planning the funds that will go to different departments and communities. If Asian-Americans are well-represented in the 2020 Census, the Asian-American community will receive more adequate funding. The same goes to other communities as well. If the community is well-represented, the more support and funding they will receive from the government. Respond to the 2020 Census by visiting 2020census. gov. You can also call their hotlines 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-478-2020 (Tagalog).

Census Response Collection Ends October 5


he Census Bureau announced on Sept. 28 the extended deadline of Oct. 5, 2020 to conclude the 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations. Self-responses are Census responses that household sent over mail or online at 2020census.gov. Field data collection refers to the Census responses field data collectors received during their door-todoor household visits that haven’t sent their self-responses over the mail or online.

5 voter registration deadline? Don’t worry! You can head over to your county’s Voter Service Center to register and place your vote on the same day. Voter Service Centers will be open on Oct. 20 through Nov. 3. On Oct. 16, registered voters will receive the general election mail ballot. Similar to the mail ballot during the primary election, voters should put their answered ballot on the protective sleeve before returning it. Voters should return their

mail ballot by Oct. 27. After Oct. 27, voters should drop the mail ballot at a Voter Service Center or designated places of deposit. All ballots must be received by 7pm on Nov. 3. Voter Service Centers in Oahu are located in Honolulu Hale (530 South King Street) and Kapolei Hale (1000 Uluohia Street). For the full list of Voter Service Centers and places of deposit, visit elections.hawaii.gov/voter-service-centers-and-places-of-deposit/. 

(EDITORIALS: 2020 Elections....from page 3)

All-out political melee ahead While liberals have their hands tied in stopping McConnell-Trump, they have good reason to execute political retribution. The talk at the Hill is to expand the number of associate justices to SCOTUS beyond 9, which would be possible should Democrats win the presidency and retake a majority in the Senate (Dems already control the House). The number of SCOTUS jus-

tices is not outlined in the U.S. Constitution so this would be possible. That move, while it appears as stacking, would really be correcting political wrongdoings. Irregular actions (McConnell unfair confirmations) calls for irregular reactions – that’s justifiable. The stakes for the 2020 election has gotten exponentially higher and more urgent. Please vote for a future of fairness. Empower our community and vote!

ents having to stay home for younger children have been facing hardship. On the top issues, Trump already put all his cards on the table. With conditions remaining the same and worsening in others, Biden voters say it makes perfect sense to give Biden a shot. Traditionally presidential incumbents will lose in a bad economy, which narrows Trump’s chances for reelection on that pattern alone.

is Oct. 5. Ballots will begin to be mailed on Oct. 5, 6 for Honolulu, Oct. 7 for Hawaii (Big Island), Oct. 8 for Maui, Oct. 9 for Kauai. If registered voters do not receive their ballots by Oct. 16, it’s advised that they contact their County Clerk’s Office (visit: elections.hawaii.gov for County Elections Division). All signed ballots must be received by your Clerk’s Office no later than 7 p.m. on November 3, the day of the General Election. To meet this deadline, it’s strongly encouraged to mail back your ballots by Oct. 27 to give mail-handlers sufficient time. There are also ballot drop boxes, including at the Voter Service Centers. Visit the same elections website above for drop box locations and Voter Service Centers locations and hours. In-person voting and same-day registration (if you missed the Oct. 5 deadline) will be available at Voter Service Centers. Remember Nov. 3 is General Election day. But actual voting can begin as soon as registered voters receive their ballots.

(COVER STORY: Biden....from page 5)

Younger Voters In yet another poll, conducted by the National AAPI Power Fund and the National Education Association that focused on younger Asian voters, Biden showed a commanding lead over Trump, 73 to 17 percent; the undecided were 10 percent. Of those who said they would vote for Biden, 50 percent said their decision is based more on their disapproval of Trump; while 35 percent said they would vote for Biden because they like him. Paul Ong, a research professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, said there is a real political transformation among younger Asian American adults registered to vote. “In the last presidential election, only about half of younger Asian American adults registered to vote, and this survey indicates that more than 7 in 10 are now registered for the upcoming election. A remarkable shift!” said Ong. Pew Research also confirms the political shift occurring. It found that Asians are the fastest growing demo-

graphic of eligible voters compared to all other major races and ethnicities. But voter turnout is not as high as others, according to Pew. In the last 2018 midterm election, Asians had a 42 percent turnout rate, compared to the Black community at 51 percent.

Issues important to Filipinos In the same AAPI Data, APIA Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC national survey on Asian Americans, Filipinos found the following to be extremely important: • Jobs and the Economy 63 percent • Healthcare 56 percent • Education 51 percent • Racism and racial discrimination 46 percent • the Environment 38 percent • Taxes 35 percent • Gun Control 35 percent • Immigration 30 percent In the HFC poll taken in July, Hawaii’s Filipinos top three issues were Economy/ Jobs, COVID-19/Public Health

and the High Cost of Living. Filipinos top three issues of concern are related to COVID-19 and Biden supporters say do not reflect well on Trump because he’s had more than six months to make improvements but little to marginal improvements have occurred. On the economy and jobs. Most economists say this recession (GDP level, highest unemployment ever) is the deepest since the Great Depression. On healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic showed how inadequate the system of employer-based health insurance is as millions lost their jobs and their insurance. Trump’s nomination to SCOTUS could also jeopardize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) shorty after the election when hearings on ACA begins. If ACA is struck down, millions more will lose their health insurance at a time when it’s needed most. On Education. Due to the pandemic, most schools have resorted to all or part-virtual, at home instruction. Quality of instruction has suffered for students; and working par-

Party Affiliation Filipinos nationally identified themselves as Democrats (46 percent), Republican (28 percent), Independent (16 percent), do not think in terms of political parties (8 percent), don’t know (1 percent). In the HFC poll taken in July, Hawaii’s Filipinos responded: Democrat (28 percent), Republican (17 percent), Independent (16 percent), don’t want to say (39 percent). General Election information and important dates The last day to register to vote in the General Election



Supreme Court Justice Nominee Amy Coney Barrett and Immigration By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


f “likeability” was the sole desideratum, Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, would win Senate confirmation without batting an eyelash. She is amiable (no pun intended) and has the grace of a Grace Kelly. The seat became vacant with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judge Barrett, 48, is at present a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Chief Justice John Roberts is also “likeable”. But certain people do not like a number of his decisions. [I will talk about that on another day]. The Chief Justice granted my son Noel’s motion for my admission to the United States Supreme Court Bar. I took my oath before Chief Justice Roberts. In the case of Judge Barrett, as with other nominees, what other factors should be considered? Will she render “equal justice under law” as emblazoned above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building; construe the law, not make law; interpret the Constitution according to its text, not according to some other method; follow established and reasonable rules of statutory construction; and respect the doctrine of stare decisis unless erroneous or overtaken by subsequent factual or legal developments? Religion and sex (gender) are irrelevant and should not be taken into account in selecting a Justice. IS BARRETT A RACIST? Questions have been raised on whether Judge Barrett is a racist because of her opinions in immigration cases. But when critics were confronted with the fact that she and her husband adopted two black children from Haiti the charge fell flat. Undaunted, other critics insisted that adopting black children is “racist”. Here is what one (a contributor to

CBS television and a Boston university professor) reportedly twitted: “Some White colonizers “adopted” black children. They “civilized” these “savage” children in the “superior” ways of white people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.” Twitter @Dribram. https:// www.foxnews.com/media/ cbs-news-ibram-x-kendiwhite-parents-black-childrenadoption. 09/28/2020. The logic is so twisted and nonsensical. But can you imagine the harm to Judge Barrett’s adopted children when they hear this and how they will feel? Will they summon the courage to ask Judge Barrett and her husband: “Mom, dad did you adopt us to use us as props?” The children’s playmates might soon be chanting, with the egging of the Demoncrats: “Hey, hey, you two props. What do you do to prop Barrett up?” WHAT IS PAST IS PROLOGUE “Whereof what’s past is prologue; what to come, in yours and my discharge.” The Tempest by William Shakespeare. If so, past decisions, opinions, and statements of a judicial nominee should be considered to determine what will be the nominee’s future decisions. BARRETT AND IMMIGRATION Let us analyze Judge Barrett’s opinions in immigration cases, as the ponente and as a dissenter. In Yafai v. Pompeo, 912 F.3d 1018 (2019), https:// www.leagle.com/decision/infco20190104186, Judge Barrett, speaking for a majority in a 3-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, upheld the dismissal by a district court of an action challenging the denial by a U.S. consular officer of the visa application of an alien from Yemen who had been petitioned by her U.S. citizen husband, on the ground that the alien was inadmissible because she had sought to smuggle two children to the

Judge Amy Coney Barrett

United States, reasoning that the district court correctly dismissed the alien’s challenge under the doctrine of consular nonreviewability. Judge Barrett said that Congress “delegated the power to determine who may enter the country to the Executive Branch, and courts generally have no authority to second-guess the Executive’s decisions. Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 769-70, 92 S.Ct. 2576, 33 L.Ed.2d 683 (1972). To that end, the doctrine of consular nonreviewability “bars judicial review of visa decisions made by consular officials abroad.” Matushkina v. Nielsen, 877 F.3d 289, 294 (7th Cir. 2017). There is an exception to this doctrine when the visa denial implicates a constitutional right of an American citizen, yet even in that circumstance, a court may not disturb the consular officer’s decision if the reason given is “facially legitimate and bona fide.” Rejecting the couple’s invocation of this exception to the doctrine of consular non-reviewability claiming that denying the alien a visa implicat-

ed her husband’s constitutional rights, namely his right to live in America with his spouse, Judge Barrett pointed out that the status of this right is uncertain. “In Kerry v. Din, a plurality of the Supreme Court said that no such right exists, 135 S.Ct. 2128, 2131, 192 L.Ed.2d 183 (2015).” Even if the denial of the alien’s visa application implicated a constitutional right of her husband, his claim failed because the consular officer’s decision was “facially legitimate and bona fide.” ANALYSIS. Judge Barrett followed Supreme Court decisions and prior Court of Appeals decisions. There was no racial animus. As an immigration lawyer, I wish that there was no “doctrine of consular nonreviewability” so I could challenge all visa denials by consular officers referred to me by clients. In Alvarenga-Flores v Sessions, No. A206-184-822 (CA7 08 28 18), involving a petition for review by an El Salvadoran of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals upholding the denial by an immigration judge of the alien’s application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture because he feared torture and persecution from gang members if he returned to El Salvador, the majority of a 3-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, speaking through Judge Barrett, denied the petition for review, holding that substantial evidence supported the decisions of the immigration judge and the Board, and the record did not compel a contrary con-

clusion. The alien did not possess a visa or travel document and conceded that he was removable. The Immigration Judge denied the alien’s claim for relief based on an adverse credibility finding because of inconsistencies in the alien’s testimony about the events that prompted him to leave El Salvador and that his asylum application was time-barred. Judge Barrett found that the IJ and the Board provided specific reasons for their credibility determinations, the alien failed to explain the discrepancies, and failed to offer convincing corroborating evidence. ANALYSIS. There is no racial bias in deciding this case. Judge Barrett properly analyzed the requirements to be established by an alien to obtain asylum. Credibility of the asylum applicant is the most critical requirement. Lawyers who successfully win asylum cases are those who know the requirements, present credible evidence to establish them, and prepare clients thoroughly so that they could testify credibly. In Ramos v Barr, No. 191728, (CA7 06/05/2019), involving a motion for stay of removal pending appeal filed by a Mexican who had been convicted and sentenced to more than ten years for drug offenses, the majority of a 3-judge Court of Appeals panel, of which Judge Barrett was a member, denied the motion, holding that the alien “demonstrated neither the irreparable harm nor substantial likelihood of success on the (continue on page 14)


(continue on page 8)




RBG’s Death Complicates the Composition, Fate of the US Supreme Court By Elpidio R. Estioko


side from the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus is now on the U.S. Supreme Court’s future with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), 87, due to lingering pancreatic cancer. On Sept. 26, U.S. President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-yearold conservative federal appeals court judge, to the Supreme Court as a replacement of the late RBG creating “a fierce partisan battle in the remaining days of the hotly contested presidential election.” In his announcement, Trump called Barrett a “woman of towering intellect” and “unyielding loyalty to the constitution.” Peter Baker and Maggie Hagerman of New York Times reported that “Trump selects Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, a favorite of conservatives, to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day in a move that would significantly

alter the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for years.” The authors further said that the “president’s political advisers hope the selection will energize his conservative political base in the thick of an election campaign in which he has for months been trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his Democratic challenger. But it could also rouse liberal voters afraid that her confirmation could spell the end of Roe v. Wade, the decision legalizing abortion, as well as other rulings popular with the political left and center.” While other justices have been approved in presidential election years, the nomination will signal an extraordinary move by Senate Republicans to confirm her for the court before the election on Nov. 3, an unprecedented move in American history. In picking Barrett, the authors said “the appointment would shift the center of gravity on the bench considerably to the right, giving conservatives six of the nine seats and potentially insulating them even against defections by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who on a handful of occasions has sided with liberal justices.” According to the report,

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Trump “wanted to rush his nominee through the Senate by Election Day to ensure that he would have a decisive fifth justice on his side in case any disputes from the vote reached the high court, as he expected to happen.” If confirmed, Barrett would become the 115th justice in the nation’s history and the fifth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court. At age 48, she would be the youngest member of the current court as well its sixth Catholic. And she would become Trump’s third appointee on the court, more than any other president has installed in a first term since Richard M. Nixon had four, joining Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. He made the nomination with Utah senator Mitt Romney announcing his vote in favor of filling up the vacant seat before the Nov. 3 election, with that the GOP now has 51 votes to proceed with the nomination. Romney has given the party the 51 backers needed to move forward with voting on Trump’s candidate to fill up

the vacant seat. Romney was one of four GOP senators who were initially believed to be siding with the Democrats in filling out the vacant seat after the election pursuant to RBG’s death-wish “not to be replaced until after election.” It turned out that only two GOP senators opposed the nomination to be voted upon before the election. Both Alaska senator Liza Murkowski and Maine senator Susan Collins want the nomination after the election. The Democrats need four GOP senators to join them to be able to derail the nomination. If three GOP sides with the Democrats, it will be a tie so Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, will break the tie in favor of the nomination. As to the other two of four Republicans who initially might have opposed filling the seat before election, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado, refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination in an election year in 2016 thereby agreeing to support Pres. Trump’s move to fill up the vacancy immediately. That seals the chance of Trump to nominate the replacement and get an official confirmation before the Nov. 3 presidential election. RBG was a liberal, the fourth in the nine-member Supreme Court, that balances the conservative ideas with that of liberal issues confronting the

highest court of the land. Her death has its long impact even beyond the election due to critical cases on health care, labor, women’s rights, Obama Care, equal rights, environmental issues, abortion, voting rights, healthcare, gun control, environmental issues, civil liberties and human rights. Had there been four GOP senators who opposed, it should have been a bigger problem. Because if no replacement is made before the election, there will be a 4-4 vote, with the chief justice siding with the liberals or a 5-3 vote where the chief justice sides with the conservatives therefore a verdict is arrived at. If a 4-4 vote is registered, there will be no verdict because there is no majority vote, so the decision in the lower court becomes final. With that, Republicans now have secured the numbers needed to ensure that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will face a confirmation vote in the Senate before Nov. 3. If Barrett will be confirmed, the nine-member Supreme Court will now have three liberals and five conservatives with the chief justice balancing the votes. Even if Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. sides with the liberals based on merits of the case, it will still be a 5-4 vote in favor of the conservatives. ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).


FAUW Presents Lecture with Dr. Mercado, A Global Health Advocate years and was WHO Director


he Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW) presented a ZOOM meeting and lecture with Dr. Susan Pineda Mercado on Sept. 26. The lecture, “A Portrait of a Filipina as a Global Health Advocate,” can be viewed at www.facebook. com/FAUWHawaii even after Sept. 26. Dr. Mercado is the incoming Director for Food Systems

and Resilience of the Hawaii Public Health Institute. Prior to moving to Hawaii this month, she was the Strategic Adviser for COVID-19, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Asia Pacific Region. She was also the Special Envoy of the President Global Health Initiatives in the Philippines. She worked with the World Health Organization for 15

for NCD and Health through the Life Course in the Western Pacific – the highest ranking Filipina at WHO. Previously she served as Undersecretary for Health, Philippines and has been active in training doctors and public health professionals as adjunct research faculty of the National TeleHealth Center of the National Institutes of Health, UP.



Will Trump Overstay His Welcome? By Emil Guillermo


xistential worries abound for America. COVID-19, SCOTUS, and the concomitant worries of living under a president who just doesn’t care about anything other than his own preservation of power, weigh heavily. Trump’s way is to employ the arithmetic of the autocrat, mastered by the likes of Ferdinand Marcos. (Did you celebrate Sept. 21, 1972?) Trump’s getting good at it. He just asks, “What can we do that benefits me most?” All others be damned. We are now to the point where Trump can’t even pledge to the nation a peaceful transition of power. And why should he, if he has no intention of leaving because he will do what he can to assure victory. Now doesn’t that just sound like Marcos. Or like Saddam Hussein (although Saddam was a real military man, not just a master of bad feet and draft dodging). Somehow, we should all see what’s wrong with the inability to commit to a peaceful transition. To not do so is clearly the mentality of a dictator. That’s why Trump saying he’d “get rid of ballots” is like throwing the Constitution into a fire pit. It does give Trump an appalling distinction. No U.S. president has ever been so emboldened as to suggest he was above our democracy. Richard Nixon? No, Nixon was smart enough to know when to get out. Trump? He’s his own brand of visa overstay. We may need a presidential form of ICE to get him out. Just look at his record. He was impeached and he survived. We’ve demanded to see his tax return, and he’s shielded it from us. He’s been implicated or caught in scandal after scandal, from the “Access Hollywood” tape, to the women who have accused him

of all sorts of sexual misconduct. His survival shouldn’t be seen as a plus. But it’s this kind of resilience amid the confluence of existential events that could bring our democracy to the brink. And we’re not even talking about the more than 200,000 dead from COVID-19 with no national testing plan (to which Trump gave himself an A-Plus). We haven’t even mentioned Trump’s replacement for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Coney Barret. She may please some Catholic Filipinos for her pro-life stand on abortion, but she replaces our leading protective shield from Trump, our stop-gap Ginsburg. If Barret’s rushed through, it means hang on to your hats for rollbacks of anything progressive that benefitted people of color. Or women. 1940’s here we come. You just can’t use the word “existential” enough. Everything that happens threatens to impact us for a generation at least. That’s not even debatable.

The bit of good news on the Census But Trump hasn’t changed all the courts yet. And it is the source of one bit of good news: the stopping of the rush job Census 2020 deadlines which would have assured an inaccurate count. Talk about our existential crisis. I am not counted therefore I don’t exist. But now, thanks to Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District in California, you may have more time to get counted in the 2020 Census, if you haven’t done so already. On Friday, Judge Koh issued a preliminary injunction that bars the Trump administration from accelerating the Census deadlines. The order prevents the Census count from ending early on Sept. 30 and allow data collection to continue until Oct. 31. The court also stopped the Census Bureau from delivering apportionment data on Dec. 31. Given the pandemic, natural disasters like the California

wildfires, and a Census workforce that was just 38 percent of what it had been in years past, accelerating the Census deadlines made no sense at all. The fear of an undercount was just too real. The court’s opinion cites Associate Field Director for field operations Timothy Olson, who said this in an email thread on July 27 of this year: “We need to sound the alarm to the realities of the ground—people are afraid to work for us and it is reflected in the number of enumerators working in the (Area Census Offices). And this means it is ludicrous to think we can complete 100% of the nation’s data collection earlier than 10/31 and any thinking person who would believe we can deliver apportionment by 12/31 has either a mental deficiency or a political motivation.” If I were on that thread, I would say both, considering how the Trump administration has been casting doubt and dissension about the Census at every turn. There never seemed to be a desire to get a true count of the population of the New America, with its more diverse hues that would make a white supremacist cry. From the citizenship question, which spread fear in immigrant communities, to the Trump memo expressing a desire to not have “illegal aliens” participate, the administration has done all it could to make sure the Census would be anything but smooth, let alone accurate. I started hearing about it from field offices around the final push in the field count in August.

Asian American undercount? The number of Asian Americans is somewhere north of 23 million in the U.S., according to the latest Census numbers. But when the official 2020 Census results are unveiled, will all of us be counted? If you haven’t done so yet, go to my2020census.gov right now. Get counted now. Or else. Asian Americans, we have an existential crisis. We could be the most undercounted group in the 2020 Census. Census insiders weren’t counting on an extension and were already resigned to an imperfect count. Now, we have a little more time. Get counted. “I’m not getting counted, Emil. I’m undocumented,” you say. Yes. I know. The citizenship question debate did not help. Enumerators were telling me that people in their homes really believed the Census was an arm of Donald Trump’s ICE. Forget that. Earlier, the Supreme Court affirmed there will be no citizenship question. The Census isn’t out to deport to you. It was just another monkey wrench thrown in by the Trump administration to create even more distrust and division. Rest assured, the count has nothing to do with citizenship. It’s not about having papers. It’s just about who is living in this country—for whatever reason—for at least six months out of the year. It’s all about counting the

people of the U.S., not citizens. All the people. We the people. (Just like it says in the Constitution.) You’re one of them. Now, get counted. Even the Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., recently reached out to the broad Filipino American community—especially his Filipino nationals working at the consulate. “It’s not about the brown (Philippine) passport or the blue (U.S.) passport,” Bensurto said. If you’re living in the U.S. the majority of the year, get counted. Money is at stake. Resources. Funds for your community and region. Funds for your particular ethnic group. And, of course, the Census is the basis for drawing new political districts. If you’re in Philadelphia and don’t mark “FILIPINO” if you’re Filipino, then no one will know there are any Flips in Philly. They’ll only know if you mark it down. And if you don’t, you’ll fall through a crack bigger than the one on the Liberty Bell. Every ten years, the Census is done. Over time, the form has become easier to fill out. It takes less than five minutes to fill it out online. I had it sitting on my pile of unopened mail for weeks. I even had two enumerators knock on my door. Finally, I stopped playing hard to get and just filled it out online. Another set of Guillermos present and accounted for. Now how about the rest of you? (continue on page 12)




What do you think about distant learning vs. regular classroom sessions? MELDRICK RAVIDA


“Digital learning has its pros such as not having to commute long distances and wait in the notorious Oahu traffic. It also forces you to be disciplined and maintain your focus for both synchronous and asynchronous classes. On the contrary, the challenge with remote learning is that one may feel that they are not getting the education that they paid for; some pathways require more hands-on experience. Additionally, home settings may not be conducive to learning and are not a safe and stable place to sit in an online class session. Background noise is something I feel that I can’t fully control with regards to disadvantages. Since the transition, however, I feel okay with online learning but wish to have that experience of in-person class sessions, to be able to engage and interact with others because distance learning can feel...distant. Although, my professors have done excellent work in making distance learning enjoyable and a seamless transition to our “normal” for the time being.”

“With this pandemic going on, not to mention our technology-driven world, distant-learning is the better choice compared to conventional classroom learning. We can all agree that we have to do something to slow the spread of COVID-19. I can see that happening through taking online courses instead of devoting one’s time and energy going into classes physically—it will only create contact and possible transmission of the virus. Aside from that, it’s more convenient because the internet has been a huge part of our daily lives. We already know how to work our way around it. Course materials are accessible anytime and anywhere. Everything is in your hands. The only disadvantage is that you won’t get to experience the beauty of being in a classroom setting— forming bonds and having real interactions with your instructor and classmates! But health-wise, I believe it’s still better to take the distant-learning path as for the time being. And hopefully when all this end, we can go back to the classroom setting.”



Senior, Public Health and Filipino Language & Literature, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kalihi

Sophomore, Liberal Arts Exploratory Health Services, Leeward Community College, Waipahu “With our current situation, distance learning is the safest solution. Distance learning will lessen the spread of the virus as well as provide the students with an asynchronous way of learning. However, distance learning can be difficult for a few students because of their inability to connect online due to lack of supplies or simply just being unmotivated. Schools and teachers are finding ways to make distant learning a better experience for their students.”

Senior, Health Administration Billing & Coding, Hawaii Medical College, Waipahu

Ninth grade, Lanakila Baptist High School, Waipahu “Distance learning has its perks being safety and the comfort of learning in your own home. Although there isn’t anything wrong with distance learning, I think most kids would like to go to school. Our society nowadays is very social with social media being a large factor. Staying at home can cause people especially kids to be more relaxed and unfocused, and if they feel they aren’t being watched by teachers this may cause problems. Regular classrooms however provide better access to resources, more attention from teachers and it’s also important for kids to get social interaction. Going to school and making friends are some of the best years of your life. I feel especially bad for seniors as they can’t even have their own graduation. Distance learning is taking some of the best years of your life, but I’d rather take this than to have a possibility of getting sick.”

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Will Trump....from page 11)

The hard to find Asians and Filipinos Census insiders tell me the problem isn’t a procrastinator like me who has filled out the form and participated in the Census for decades. They know where I am in the data trove of 350 million Americans somewhere. The question is what about the new people since 2010. For Asian Americans that means the Nepalese, the Burmese, and other fast-growing groups in our national community. Where are they? COVID-19 makes it even harder to find certain people. Many have been forced to move because of COVID eco-

nomic distress. Some people move in with family. The multigenerational households. Or they move in with friends in unconventional housing situations where there are people of mixed status. Some documented. Some undocumented. Add in the fear factor, and people remain uncounted. That’s why some I talked to at the Census Bureau worry that Asian Americans will be the most undercounted group. Sign up in the final days. Time’s running out. Don’t fear the Census. Fear what will happen to our community if you don’t fill out that form. It’s easier than vot-

ing. And the administration thought it was easier to muck up. But then Judge Koh stepped in and saved the day to make sure the Census had a shot to be as accurate as possible. The government will likely appeal this ruling, creating more confusion. And wouldn’t that be just like 2020. But for now, there’s time. The census matters because you do. Don’t be invisible. Be counted. EMIL​ GUILLERMO​ is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @emilamok.



Deferred But Not Disappointed By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan pandemic ruined everything. It would have been one of the ctober 2020 would best birthday celebrations my have a busy and daughter and I will ever have great month for but for now, the only thing we our family. Since can do is dream. COVID-19 has taken late last year, we have been looking away so many things. But ours forward to this time. My hus- is just a ruined plan. For some friends of mine band was scheduled to attend a conference in Nice, France and many more families, this and he wanted to bring us, his cruel virus has taken away family, along with him as a mothers and fathers, sisters gift for me on my 35th and our and brothers, sons and daughdaughter’s fifth birthday. Nice, ters. For my brother and many France and the French Riv- of my friends around the iera have always been on our world, COVID-19 has stolen bucket list. We also wanted to their source of income; their visit the city of Cannes and the livelihood. For many, this pansmall but rich country of Mo- demic has slain dreams and naco. Crossing the border and swept away hope. Our Nice escapade and our adding Italy to the countries we have visited was also part of grand birthday celebration may our plans. We watched videos have been put on hold but seeabout these wonderful places ing the people around me who and we have been preparing are suffering, and listening to the documents needed to apply the plights and pains of those for another Schengen visa. But badly affected, I couldn’t help all the excitement and hope- but be grateful that I am still ful expectation have come to able to breathe and to dream. naught because the COVID-19 This pandemic has caused me


to wake up each day grateful to have been given a new day to enjoy, and opportunity to be with family whom I dearly love. South Korea is celebrating its Thanksgiving Holiday this month. Thanksgiving for me has taken a whole new meaning. Realizing the futility of life has taught me to be grateful for things that really matter – life and relationships. To be able to travel and reach goals and dreams are just definitely good but they are just extras and they are nothing compared to the gift of life, family and friends. There are many moments I catch myself asking, what if COVID-19 never happened? What would 2020 be like? Most probably, just like any other year, it would have been business as usual. Airports are busy with people travelling to different parts of the world. Streets are flooded with honking cars and busy people walking. Malls are crowded with busy shoppers. Fami-

lies are still complete and filling homes with laughter. Birthdays, weddings and special occasions are celebrated and looked forward to by families and friends. Many businesses are flourishing. Tourism is booming. As for our family, we would have been busy preparing for our travel to Nice. What if COVID-19 never happened? We can only assume but it will never be answered because the virus entered and ravaged homes, caused economies to collapse, shook countries and changed the world’s landscape. The pandemic may have ruined our lives, but it has given humanity something that we can be grateful for – a deeper understanding of unity and survival. This unseen enemy has wounded humanity severely but we are proving time and time again that we are survivors. We are victorious over everything the world throws at us. Looking

at how nations have been helping each other and communities uniting to fight off the deadly virus, it gives me hope that the time will come the COVID-19 pandemic will just be a part of our history books. I look forward to the day I will no longer write about the pandemic in present tense, but it will just be a memoir of 2020, remembering how we, as humanity, fought a deadly virus and won in the end. But the war is from over. Winning is still a distant dream. But let’s keep dreaming. Let’s keep hoping. Let’s keep fighting. October would have been a great month. Oh, let me change that. It will be a great month. It is a great month not just because I am blessed with another year and we get to celebrate the five years that God has given us a beautiful daughter, but also it’s a wonderful month because we still get to dream, hope, love and breathe. It’s more than enough to celebrate. Our hope may have been deferred, but we are not disappointed.



October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


s the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors and isolate, domestic violence cases are rising worldwide. The pandemic has caused many stressors that lead to rising domestic violence cases. Families are forced to stay home. Victims can’t leave their abusers and are forced to spend their time with them in quarantine. The threat of COVID-19 has restrained victims from seeing and spending time with their extended families and friends outside their own homes. The pandemic’s economic impact also creates more financial chal-

lenges on people. “People were not going to be able to make telephone calls because their abuser is going to be standing right next to them,” said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of Hawaii’s Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC). “When you are a prisoner of your abuser and following a stay at home directive, you are going to be in real danger.” According to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the number of domestic violence cases are more likely to

(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: Supreme Court....from page 7)

merits required for a stay under Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418 (2009). The majority said that while it was cognizant that removal imposed a serious burden on petitioner, the Supreme Court had made clear that “the burden of removal alone cannot constitute the requisite irreparable injury.” ANALYSIS: There was no racial animosity by the panel. The Order faithfully adheres to a Supreme Court decision. A stay is not a matter of right and the alien must comply with the traditional four-factor standard specified in Nken v Holder. We

have had alien clients facing removal and we had to comply with Nken to obtain a stay of removal. In Cook County v Wolf, No. 19-3169 (CA7 06 10 20), involving an appeal by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from an order of a district court granting a preliminary injunction in an action by a county and immigrant advocates to set aside a new rule implementing the “public charge” provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4), designed to pre-

grow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. October is domestic violence awareness month. The Hawaii Department of Human Services has set up a text helpline to better provide support, risk assessment, safety planning, resources and referrals to DVAC’s legal services. If you are experiencing any violence at home, you can text (605) 956-5680 to chat with a specialist from Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM. You can also speak with a specialist over the phone via the helpline (808) 531-3771 or toll-free at (800) 690-6200.

Here are more hotlines to better serve domestic violence victims: National Domestic Violence Hotline Available 24/7 1-800-799-7233, 1-800-787-3224 Video calls for deaf callers: 1-855-812-1001 (Monday to Friday, 9AM-5PM PST)

vent immigrants deemed likely to receive public assistance from entering the country or adjusting their immigration status, 2 members of a 3-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, affirmed the district court, holding that the county had adequately established its right to bring its claim and that the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting preliminary injunctive relief. Judge Barrett, the third member of the panel, dissented saying that the preliminary injunction was based solely on the district court’s inter-

pretation of the term “public charge” but because its analysis was flawed, she would vacate the injunction and remand the case to the district court. Judge Barrett noted that critics of the “public charge” definition characterized it as too harsh. But the same could be said of IIRIRA and the Welfare Reform Act. The latter dramatically rolled back the availability of aid to noncitizens, and both statutes linked those cuts to the public charge provision by making the affidavit of support a condition of admissibility. Judge Barrett said that the plaintiffs’ objections reflect disagreement with this policy choice. Litigation is not the vehicle for resolving policy disputes. She concluded that the DHS’s definition is a reasonable interpretation of the statutory term “public charge.” ANALYSIS: There is no racial bias by Judge Barrett in her dissent. The people complaining against the “public charge” definition were in effect disputing the “policy” considerations for the issuance of the rule. But Judge Barrett correctly pointed out that “litigation is not the vehicle for resolving policy disputes”. The DHS has imposed an additional burden on applicants for adjustment of status by requiring them to fill up Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, consisting of 18 pages. It is not too difficult to fill up but applicants should seek very competent legal counsel because one mistake could result in rejection. DHS has been adding new forms to be filled up by immigra-

Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Oahu: (808) 841-0822 West Hawaii: (808) 322-7233 East Hawaii: (808) 959-8864 Domestic Violence Action Center Oahu’s PACT 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 526-2200 Maui’s Helping Women 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 579-9581 Kauai’s Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 2456362 Kauai’s Sexual Assault 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 245-2144 Molokai’s Community Service Council 24-Hour Hotline: (808) 567-6888 

tion applicants without a legal challenge except this one. Is one more burden for a chance to live in the United States too difficult to bear? As has been pointed out, nobody is forcing an alien to come or to live in the United States. COMMENT: There is no guarantee that Judge Barrett’s past decisions on immigration or other issues is a precursor of how she will decide cases in the Supreme Court. Nor is there any guarantee that her judicial philosophy – said to be conservative – will be reflected in future decisions. Look at Justice Gorsuch, touted as a conservative and the first confirmed nominee of President Trump, who ruled that when the law says that a person cannot be discriminated on the basis of sex, the law does not mean only the male and female sex, but also homosexual or transgender people – a virtual third sex. See our article “One-upmanship: God created two sexes; Supreme Court creates a third sex.” https://www.thefilipinochronicle.com/2020/07/31/ one-upmanship-god-createdtwo-sexes-supreme-court-creates-a-third-sex/ ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is co-author of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” published by Rex Publishing. He writes columns for Filipino-American newspapers and co-hosts “The Tipon Report,” Honolulu’s most witty and useful radio show. He practices law in Honolulu, Hawaii, focusing on immigration and other federal laws. Tel. 808-225-2645. E-mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com


COMMUNITY CALENDAR LEA SALONGA LIVE | Friday-Saturday, October 23-24, 2020; 8-10PM | Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu l Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga to serenade the Hawaii crowd in a two-night spectacular concert. Tickets $35 and up. Visit blaisdellcenter.com for more information.

MABUHI PACIFIC EXPO & SUMMIT | November 27-29, 2020 | Hawaii Convention Center l Panelists-presenters on various topics are being accepted for the Expo. For more details, visit mabuhiexpo.com.


Family Crisis Cash Assistance Act To Help Families Recover from National Disaster or participation in child support Economic Crisis programs, an asset test, discrim-


he Family Crisis Cash Assistance Act is a legislation that will help families struggling through a natural disaster or economic crisis with immediate cash assistance. It was introduced by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The cash assistance is set at

$2,000 a month for an individual, $3,000 for a family of two, and $500 more per additional member of the family, capped at $4,000 a month and adjusted for inflation moving forward. The assistance is not taxable nor can it be garnished. The program prohibits rules requiring work,

ination based on immigration status, or artificially limiting the length of eligibility. The Family Crisis Assistance Act will create a new program under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and provide grants to states. States will be asked to develop a dis-

$3.4 Million in New Funding For UH to Mitigate COVID-19 Disparities


.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Manoa will receive $3,400,883 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to support efforts to eliminate COVID-19 disparities among Hawai‘i’s vulnerable populations, including Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The funds will be used by UH

ucational curriculum to schools in rural and underserved communities. UH will use the new funds to expand testing and outreach programs that have been successful at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center to four additional community health centers: Waimanalo to increase COVID-19 testing Health Center on Oahu; the Bay and disseminate COVID-19 ed- Clinic Inc. and Hamakua-Ko-

Blg. 19


1. Taos 2. Pagkamasamng amoy o lasa 3. Balisasa 4. Himaymay na ginagawang lubid, binatok, pinukpok, sinamay at tatyod 5. Kalaro 6. Multiplikahin 7. Pagka-malayo 8. Ikulong

9. Tablaw 10. Dildil 11. Iukol 12. Tambang 13. Baka 21. Alipangyan 25. Tinto 26. Kagat 27. Iwas 28. Galit 30. Bentanilya 33. Pilitin

hala Health Center on Hawaiʻi Island; and the Molokai Community Health Center. UH will also disseminate COVID-19 educational curriculum to community schools to empower students and families to implement preventative practices, encourage testing, and help reduce infections. 


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31. Ama 32. Pagputol ng damo 1. Kabilya 34. Hain 6. Kalabos 36. Droga 10. Kitil 40. Kalamidad 14. Alipunga 43. Merkuryo 15. Lira 44. Pawid 16. Komperensiya 45. Datos 17. Ibabaw 18. Kanta ni Boy Mondragon 46. Ari 48. Marahil (English) 50. Abrigo 19. Tawa 51. Adormidera 20. Aproksimado 55. Estilo 22. Panghihina ng katawan 57. Banggit dahil sa kagutuman 58. Tao 23. Talino 63. Bagay na natamo binili o 24. Balukaykay nabili sa dating halaga 26. Koponan 29. Isang uri ng punongkahoy 64. Natural

tribution plan and will be responsible for disbursing cash assistance to families and individuals with incomes at 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line or below through a mandatory funding mechanism. The program phases out assistance gradually, ending at 300 percent of FPL. As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, direct cash provides families with immediate relief and gives them the flexibility and choice to use on rent, food, or other expenses.

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KROSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon

Have your organization’s events listed in our community calendar. It’s recommended to submit press releases a month in advance of your organization’s event. Send information to filipinochronicle@gmail.com.

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company legendary cleaners with over 16 years in business. Franchise fee 15706.80. 10 year contract. Contact John Kim 808 392-5597

65. Panahon 66. Pagkamagiliw 67. Said 68. Angkang

69. Pangalan ng unang lalaki 70. Pangmaramihan 71. Talinghaba

35. Domestik 37. Malakas na pagsa salita na animo nag-aagaw-buhay 38. Punto 39. Agpis 41. Linis na kita 42. Saklob 47. Kompiskahin 49. Sugapa 51. Esposo

52. Babad 53. Tupok 54. Tila 56. Pananalita o pangungusap na isinisingit at wala sa iskrip 59. Abenida 60. Lengguwahe 61. Dumi 62. Ginda

(Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)

OCTOBER 3, 2020