WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), an Associate Member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, announced the passage last week of a resolution she helped introduce recognizing the month of October as Filipino American History Month, celebrating the history and culture of Filipino Americans, and honoring their contributions to the United States.
“In Nevada, and across the country, Filipino Americans are members of our military, health care workers, business leaders, and an integral part of our community,” said Senator Rosen. “Filipino Americans make up nearly half of the Silver State’s AAPI community and are among the fastest growing minority groups in Nevada. I am proud to support the passage of this resolution which recognizes and celebrates the many great contributions Filipino Americans have made to our state and our nation.”
BACKGROUND: Nearly 170,000 Filipino Americans live in Nevada.
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 (S.1598), 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.
Last Congress, as a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Rosen was a co-sponsor of the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act (H.R. 3865), legislation to make all Filipino veterans fully eligible for veterans’ benefits, as originally promised during WWII.