We, the following individuals and organizations below, respectfully urge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reverse their decision to end the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program of 2016 (FWVP).
The 2016 Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program allowed USCIS to consider individual requests for parole for certain relatives of Filipino WWII Veterans who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions.
We are brokenhearted to know that on August 2, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plan to terminate this critical humanitarian parole program. We believe that the program continues to serve the humanitarian and public interest of the United States in the following ways:
- Continuing the program will honor the U.S. government’s commitment to providing a solution to its aging Filipino Veterans. The FWVP program recognized the contributions and sacrifices of our Filipino WWII veterans who fought side-by-side with American soldiers during the war.
- Continuing the program will allow eligible family members to provide senior support and care to aging or dying WWII Filipino veteran family members in the U.S. The program would have continued to alleviate any family separation. It would also continue to reconnect family ties for family members with properly filed applications until their visas becomes available.
- Upon extension of the program, our Filipino-American communities will continue to help USCIS fulfill the program’s potential reach and its mission through on-the-ground education and outreach. In 2016, USCIS stated an estimated 2,000 to 6,000 Filipino American WWII veterans are living in the U.S. These numbers continue to dwindle down every day. We thereby understand the urgency of outreaching to this population. Our organizations continue to “spread the word” to educate families of this benefit and we believe that an extension of this program will ensure that our remaining Filipino Veterans or eligible family members are able to apply for this benefit.
For all the reasons above, we the undersigned, respectfully request the Trump Administration and leadership of DHS to reverse their decision to end the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. We must preserve the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program for the few remaining deserving veterans.
Ofelia Abarrientos, USP4GG
Radames Abarrientos, FAHRA
Wendy Abon-Thrower, Fil Am Cultural
Joshua Aligam, Mt. SAC FILAMILYA
Anecita Alvizo, NaFFAA
Diana Azab, ACE Enterprises
Elvira Azab, ACE Enterprises
Sonny Busa, PAFC
Cesar Bustamante Jr.
Krystle Canare, Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc.
Nomeriano Capit, ACE Enterprises
Angeles Carandang, NaFFAA
Aldrin Carreon, NaFFAA
John Catral, SIFA/UniPro
Teitei Christie, ACE Enterprises
Loni Cortez Russell, Filipino Young Professionals
Lorenxo De Vera
Nichole Dungo, Southern CA Pilipinx-American Student Alliance (S.C.P.A.S.A.)
National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA)
Mariela Fletcher, NaFFAA
Leonardo Fortuno, The Filipino Veterans Group, Inc.
Mary Giselle Herran, Filipino American Student Association at the University of Michigan
Joseph Javier, Filipino Young Professionals, Inc
Marielle Kabin, Travelwise International
Carmelita Larrabaster Humanity
Catherine Luib, Luib Health Center
Jonathan Maddela, Tatak Ng Apat na Alon
Giselle Mariel De Silva,The Reunited Organization of Pilipinx Americans of Pasadena
Kathleen Mujemulta, PACC
Myrna Pascual, Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego
Karah Pedregosa, Kababayan atUCI
Sanchez-Tobia, POLO OWWA PHL Embassay
Steven Raga, Pilipino American Unity Progress (UniPro)
Myrna Reyes, NaFFAA
James Rivera, ACE Enterprises
Marissa Rodriguez, Malaya Movement DC
Giselle Rushford, NaFFAA
Romulo Sarno, Jr., House of the Philippines – San Diego
Esperanza Sevilla Abon
April Siruno, NaFFAA
Viva Tarroza, NaFFAA
Lou Vargas, NAFFAA PNW
Carissa Villacorta, NaFFAA
Matthew Villaluz, Kuya Ate Mentorship Program
Rio Villoria, Midwest Association of Filipino Americans
Zenaida Viloria, PAFC