White House Recommends Granting Immigration "Parole" for Families of Filipino American Veterans
July 17, 2015
Yesterday, the White House released "Modernizing Our System for Efficiency And Accessibility," a report outlining President Obama's recommendations for reforming the immigration process. Among other things, the White House called for immigration "parole" for certain family members of Filipino American veterans. Parole, in this sense, refers to a process of case-by-case approval to come to the U.S. for a temporary period of time based upon urgent humanitarian reasons or significan public benefit.
Filipino American WWII Veterans, from bigislandnow.com
The urgent humanitarian reason, in this case, would be the need of the aging population of Filipino American veterans to have the care of family members as they approach the end of their life. The White House's report notes that more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers fought under the American flag during World War II. An estimated 26,000 of these soldiers became U.S. citizens, with the right to petition family members to come to the U.S. However, as the report states, the wait can exceed 20 years and there is an estimated 6,000 Filipino American World War II veterans still alive, many of whom would require and desire the care and assistance of their families in the U.S. during their final days.
The White House's recommendation is an acknowledgment of the mostly-unsung heroic contributions of Filipino veterans during World War II. As Senator Hirono, an advocate for the reunification of Filipino American Veterans' families, said in a statement, "Our nation can never fully repay the debt we owe the Filipino World War II veterans who bravely served and sacrificed alongside American forces. The brave servicemen who are still with us, now in their 80s and 90s, should not have to wait any longer in order to be reunited with their children."