After years of separation, aging veterans will be reunited with their families

The long wait is over

The long wait is over

Family members of Filipino World War II veterans will be granted special permission to reunite with their parents and come live and work in the United States, the White House announced today.

“This is a day to celebrate,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.

“Even though the U.S. government promised Filipino World War II veterans U.S. citizenship in recognition of their service and contributions to America, it took more than 50 years before they actually received citizenship.  Until now, the inhumanely long visa backlog has separated them from their children and denied them the opportunity to live together in the United States. We’re grateful the Obama Administration is taking action so our veterans can be reunited with their children and receive the love and care they need during their golden years. It’s long past time the United States made good on its promise and we hope USCIS will implement this as soon as possible. ”

Today’s announcement came as part of a report issued by the Visa Modernization Task Force, an interagency group created in November as part of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Last month, Advancing Justice | AAJC issued a report calling on President Obama to grant parole for children of Filipino War World II veterans.

While the task force’s action today is welcome progress, much more must be done to improve the legal immigration system.

On January 29, 2015, Advancing Justice | AAJC, submitted detailed recommendations on the many ways that the Obama Administration can modernize the legal immigration system to streamline and improve the processing of certain visas. Our recommendations included many suggestions, among them, granting parole for the children of Filipino World War II veterans.

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