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OCA Applauds Implementation of Reunification for Filipino Veterans

Tuesday, May 10, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Lee
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10 May 2016

CONTACT:  Nick Lee | Communications Associate

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates applauds the recently released implementation details allowing for the reunification of Filipino WWII veterans with their families.

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced the implementation of a rule that would grant parole to the families of Filipino veterans of WWII. This grant of parole by the federal government would allow certain Filipino-American family members to come to the US before their visa becomes available, circumventing the massive visa backlog currently plaguing the U.S. immigration system. This rule follows an announcement made by the Obama administration earlier this year that they would address the denial of family reunification visas to family members of Filipino veterans of WWII.

“Granting parole visas to the family members of Filipino veterans of WWII will help the eligible family members of these veterans spend time with loved ones at the twilight of their lives,” said Ken Lee, OCA National President. “For more than 70 years, these individuals were denied the benefits that they deserve and we applaud the tireless advocacy of organizations and individuals who have fought hard to help ensure that this victory was won. One of our most important duties as a nation is to protect those who have served our country, both during and after their service. This long overdue respite is one step closer to ensuring that we accomplish this duty to our service members.”

“Though there is no doubt that Filipino veterans were specifically slighted by our system, the current visa backlog created the perfect storm of overburdened bureaucracy and outdated laws that caused this issue to worsen,” continued Lee. “The families of these veterans should never have been separated for so long and though this policy solves one problem, the average wait time for a family reunification visa is still upwards of a decade and can often take two decades. Until we pass comprehensive immigration reform, our country’s immigration system will continue drive families apart rather than keep them together.”

The Department of Homeland Security will begin accepting applications for the Filipino Veterans program on June 8, 2016.

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).

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