LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) met with a Filipino World War II veteran to discuss her work in Congress to counter actions taken by the Administration to terminate a program that helps reunite the families of Filipino veterans who served in the Second World War.
“These Filipino World War II veterans served our country with great courage and deep loyalty, and they risked their lives to protect our freedoms,” said Senator Rosen. “They deserve our respect and gratitude. I urge USCIS to reverse its plans to terminate a program that supports Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II.”
BACKGROUND: During World War II, more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers fought for the United States, but were not granted citizenship until decades later, when President George H.W. Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990.
Today, there are fewer than 6,000 surviving Filipino veterans in the U.S., and many are still waiting to reunite with their children.
In May, Senator Rosen helped introduce the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to codify Obama Administration policy to permanently exempt children of Filipino World War II veterans, who were naturalized by President George H.W. Bush, from caps on immigrant visas, thus allowing these families to reunite in the United States. Rosen also helped introduce this same legislation last Congress when she was a Member of the House of Representatives.
In September, the Trump Administration announced it was terminating the existing Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. Established in 2016, the program allowed aging Filipino World War II veterans (who are now in their late 80s and 90s) to reunite with their children and siblings who have been approved for family-based immigration visas, but are caught in a 20+ year backlog.
In response, Senator Rosen joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli requesting that the agency reverse its decision to terminate the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program.