National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Commends Obama Administration for Reuniting Filipino American World War II Veterans with their Families

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 9, 2016

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

   

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Commends Obama Administration for Reuniting Filipino American World War II Veterans with their Families 

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) commends the White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the public announcement today that DHS will soon begin accepting applications on June 8 to grant parole to the families of Filipino and Filipino American World War II veterans.

Approximately 260,000 Filipinos fought for the United States during World War II, but U.S. citizenship and benefits did not extend to the veterans’ children. Many of their families have been separated for decades while waiting in visa backlogs due to the family-sponsored preference limit. Now, because of the parole program, certain family members will be able to come to the U.S. to care for these aging veterans.

“The announcement from the Department of Homeland Security that family members of Filipino World War II veterans can now apply for parole visas and reunite with their parents here in the United States is very heartening,” said National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) National Chair JT Mallonga. “Our courageous heroes, who have waited for up to 20 years, deserve the opportunity to be with their children. They must not suffer the pain of separation in the twilight of their years.”

“Advancing Justice | AAJC is proud to have played a leading role in the advocacy effort that resulted in this long-awaited relief for Filipino World War II veterans and their families,” said Advancing Justice | AAJC President and Executive Director Mee Moua. “This action is long overdue. Even as we celebrate this victory and rejoice that our veterans will finally reunite with their loved ones, we recognize there are many in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who remain separated from their family members. Advancing Justice | AAJC advocates for reforms to the immigration system so that immigrants will not have to endure decades-long backlogs as they await reunification with their loved ones.”

“We are encouraged that the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program is finally being implemented so that our country can more fully honor the bravery and sacrifices of these aging veterans,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “NCAPA has advocated for this program, and we hope that the veterans are reunited with their families as quickly as possible to ensure they receive the care they need.”

Earlier this year, NCAPA submitted comments to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services with recommendations for the parole program. The program was announced in a July Visa Modernization Task Force report.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.



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