Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today cosponsored the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, a bicameral bill introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Representative Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) that would expedite the visa process for the immediate relatives of Filipino World War II veterans.
“It is unjust that Filipino World War II veterans have to wait for decades just to see their families again,” Cortez Masto said. “Our aging veterans need the company and care of their loved ones, and it’s only right that we honor their service and sacrifice by extending the benefits that Filipino vets received to their children. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation that will permanently fix outdated policies that have delayed the reunification of veterans and their families.”
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Representatives Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Al Green (D-Texas), Gene Green (D-Texas), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), and Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) are cosponsors of the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act.
In 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began implementation of the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) program to reunite veterans and their surviving spouses with adult children and certain other relatives. However, the program is limited and provides no guarantee that these veterans will be reunited with their loved ones. The Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act provides a permanent solution, amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to exempt from global limits the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans who were naturalized under the 1990 law or other specified laws. Currently, there are fewer than 6,000 Filipino World War II veterans residing in the United States who would be able to take advantage of the benefits bestowed by the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act to be reunited with their loved ones.