Attack on WWII Filipino Veterans Is Unpatriotic and Inhumane

Advancing Justice | AAJC Responds as USCIS Moves to End Parole Program Benefitting Asian American War Heroes
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, D.C. — Today, the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced its intention to end the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program. Individuals with approved family-based immigrant petitions and who qualify for these programs have been authorized to enter the United States while waiting for their green card to become available. Now this administration wants to cruelly continue the separation of these families when it should honor these veterans by reuniting them with family in their last remaining golden years.

Advancing Justice | AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC), who advocated for the Filipino WWII Veterans parole program and assisted some of the veterans in obtaining parole, issues the following statement in response to this news:

“In a time where the Trump Administration often questions the patriotism of others, we question where is that patriotism now for our veterans? When America needed them, our Filipino World War II veterans fought and sacrificed much in World War II. Parole authority is provided when there is significant public benefit or an urgent humanitarian reason. The public benefit of our WWII Filipino Veterans was met in their service to country nearly eighty years ago.”

“Parole was granted to these war heroes in 2016 in recognition of the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of Filipino veterans, who before this policy change had to wait decades to be reunited with their children. The urgent humanitarian basis for granting parole to our remaining veterans should be obvious: those still with us are very elderly and cannot continue to wait to be reunited with their family members.” 

“Only two years ago Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, recognized these brave men and women with the Congressional Gold Medal. Advancing Justice | AAJC fought along with stalwart advocates such as Senator Mazie Hirono and bi-partisan supporters in Congress to pass the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (Public Law 114-265) and award medals collectively to more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers. These soldiers answered President Roosevelt’s call-to-duty and fought under the American flag, sacrificing for their country. The Trump Administration must not dishonor our Filipino American heroes. We call upon the administration to reverse its decision to terminate the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program.”