Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) has introduced legislation to allow Filipino veterans of World War II to reunite with their families. As a reminder, WWII ended 68 years ago.
Sen. Hirono's office provides some background:
Thousands of Filipino veterans were granted citizenship in recognition of their service to the United States in World War II. Their children, however, were not granted citizenship. As a result, the veterans who came to the United States could only sponsor their children by filing a petition and “getting in line.” The backlogs affecting Filipino immigration applications are over twenty years in some cases, and these veterans, now in their 80s and 90s, have had to wait in the U.S. without their children for many years.Sen. Hirono said the legislation - called Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act - would apply to as many as 20,000 children of Filipino WWII vets and should be included as part of comprehensive immigration reform:
“Immigration reform should reflect our values and these are the types of ideas I will be working to include in the final legislation,” said Hirono. “Our nation can never fully repay the debt we owe the Filipino World War II veterans who bravely served and sacrificed alongside Americans in the critical South West Pacific Theatre. The brave servicemen who are still with us, now in their eighties and nineties, should not have to wait any longer in order to be reunited with their children. As the Senate dives into immigration reform legislation, I will be working very closely with my colleagues to include these types of ideas in the final proposal."The American Coalition for Filipino Veterans - which helped secure equity compensation for Filipino WWII vets four years ago - is one of the leading advocates of Sen. Hirono's legislation:
“We applaud Sen. Hirono's great decision in reintroducing the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification bill,” Eric Lachica, Executive Director for the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans said. “The Hirono bill will keep the approved immigration petitions and hopes of our Filipino American World War II heroes alive after they fade away. We are glad Senator Hirono continues to fight for the legacy of Senators Akaka and Inouye for their Filipino comrades. Salamat po! Mabuhay Senator Hirono.”Think 2013 is the time for the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act? Ask your Senators to join Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) in co-sponsoring Sen. Hirono's bill.
Maraming salamat po.