Last month, the White House announced that 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 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.
“The Department of Homeland Security will create a program to allow certain family members of Filipino-American veterans to request parole to come to the United States to provide support and care to their Filipino veteran family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents,” said Jason Tengco, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in a statement. “Parole is an avenue provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows individuals to come to the country on a case-by-case basis based upon urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State will work together to provide clear guidance to the public on the application process, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. This is a critical step in strengthening our legal immigration system and also helping Filipino-American veterans reunite with their families.”
A special forum titled, “City of Seattle Community Forum: Justice for Children of Filipino World War II Veterans,” has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center Ballroom (5740 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Seattle, WA, 98118). The Filipino American community and supporters are invited to the forum to learn more about the new visa policy.
The forum is sponsored by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.
The event is co-sponsored by White House Initiative for Asian Pacific Islander Americans, U.S. Representative Adam Smith (WA 9th District), Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, Washington State Office of Refugee & Immigrant Assistance, Filipino Community of Seattle, Filipino War Veterans of Washington, International Drop-In Center, Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, Filipino-American Widows of Washington, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates—Greater Seattle Chapter, and BAYAN PNW.