Petition: Save the Filipino WWII Veterans Parole Program
The Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) program is a policy change that has enabled elderly Filipino World War II veterans to have their family members join them in the United States to help provide much-needed care and support. The FWVP program was created by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in June 2016 in recognition of “the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II.” As they reunite with their families, the veterans have the benefit of the love and care of their family members in their old age.
On August 2, 2019, USCIS announced that it would be terminating the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, oppose the decision to end Filipino World War II Veterans Parole, a program that has had a profound impact on our aging veterans and their families and enabled them to reunite in the United States and provide vital care and support to one another.
The FWVP Program allows Filipino WWII veterans to apply for parole for family members who have pending immigrant visa applications. In most cases, the veterans who hope to benefit from the FWVP Program submitted immigration petitions for their family members years ago. Many of the Filipino veterans were only able to become U.S. citizens as a result of legislation passed in 1990 after decades of community advocacy. Many of these veterans filed immigration petitions shortly after the veterans became eligible to sponsor family members to immigrate. Due to lengthy visa backlogs, however, their family members have been waiting for many years, even decades, for their visas to be approved.
Just two years ago, the Filipino World War II veterans were awarded one of our country’s highest honors, the Congressional Gold Medal. The award ceremony in the U.S. Capitol included many tributes to the valor and sacrifices made by Filipinos who answered the United States’ call to arms during World War II. The veterans had waited more than 70 years for this honor to be bestowed. With the parole program, we hoped that they would not have to wait for more years before they could be reunited with their families. Ending the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program extinguishes the hopes of these veterans that they will live to see their family members approved to immigrate to the United States.
There are estimated to be only a few thousand surviving Filipino World War II veterans in the United States. The youngest of these veterans are now in their 90s. They deserve to have the care and support of family members here in the United States. They have more than earned the right to be reunited with their families.
We call on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to honor our veterans and reverse the decision to end the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program.
ADD YOUR NAME to the Petition. Go to FWVP Program