The Impact of Immigration Policies on Filipinos in Hawaii: An Expert's Perspective

The Filipino diaspora in the United States is comprised of nearly 4.1 million people who were born in the Philippines or who claim to have Filipino descent or race, according to tabulations from the U. S. Census Bureau. One of the most important events of this period was the formation of the Filipino Workers Union, which played a crucial role in defending workers' rights and improving their working conditions. Filipino immigration to Hawaii dates back to the labor shortage faced by sugar plantations in the late 19th century.

At the time, the demand for sugar was increasing rapidly and plantations needed a large amount of labor to grow and harvest sugar cane. The plantation owners went to the Philippines, a territory recently acquired by the United States, in search of labor. This marked an important turning point in the history of Hawaii, as it was the first wave of Filipino immigration. The second wave of Filipino immigration occurred after World War II, when many Filipinos were recruited to work in Hawaii's booming tourism industry. The third wave of Filipino immigration began in the 1960s, when the Immigration Act of 1965 eliminated national origin quotas.

This wave brought Filipinos from different socioeconomic levels. In terms of health care, Filipino nurses and health professionals have played a decisive role in providing quality care to the population of Hawaii. However, the popular view that Filipinos and other Asian Americans are model minorities may lead to the assumption that this group has no problems and is unlikely to need services. In terms of education, many Filipino teachers have had a positive impact on the lives of students, providing them with guidance and inspiration. In addition, Filipinos were more likely to work in administrative, business, scientific, and artistic occupations than in both groups (see figure).One of the most visible impacts of Filipinos in Hawaii is their influence on the local culinary scene. Their presence has helped shape Hawaiian cuisine by introducing traditional Filipino dishes such as adobo and lumpia. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of Filipinos in Hawaii suffered discrimination and were interned.

Luluquisen (200) found that many young Filipinos were ashamed to identify themselves as Filipinos, and another study found that Filipinos born in Hawaii, to distinguish themselves from newcomer Filipinos, often echo negative messages and discriminate against newly arrived immigrants (Revilla, 199).The family is an integral part of Filipino culture and this is evident in the strong sense of community and close relationships within the Filipino community of Hawaii. Their participation has demonstrated a strong connection and solidarity between the Filipino community of Hawaii and their homeland. Finally, their presence in the political arena has helped to shape state policies and ensure that the interests of the Filipino community are heard and addressed. The impact that immigration policies have had on Filipinos living in Hawaii is undeniable. From providing quality healthcare services to influencing local cuisine and culture, Filipinos have had a lasting impact on Hawaiian society. They have also been subject to discrimination and internment due to their race or ethnicity.

Despite these challenges, Filipinos have continued to contribute positively to Hawaiian society through their participation in politics, education, and other areas. It is clear that immigration policies have had a significant impact on Filipinos living in Hawaii. It is important for policymakers to recognize this impact and ensure that policies are designed with this population's needs in mind.