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Filipino Veterans and Immigrant Family Reunification on Horizon with Akaka (D-Hawaii) Bill

On this Fourth of July weekend, we should remember the people who sacrificed and served in the U.S. military.  For Filipino Veterans, over 60 years after World War II, the U.S. is just beginning to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices they made.  It's only been a few months since these aging veterans could start requesting their benefits that all other U.S. war veterans receive.

Senators Akaka (D-Hawaii), Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), and Cantwell (D-Washington) recently re-introduced their co-sponsored bill (S. 1337: Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act of 2009).  According to the article at New America Media:

The proposed measure does not require any appropriation and will serve to reunite the aging and ailing veterans with their children and honor their too-long-forgotten World War II service to this nation, Akaka said.

Of the 30,000 surviving Filipino World War II veterans, 7,000 are US citizens and live in the United States. Many filed visa petitions for their children who remained in the Philippines.

Now in their 80s and 90s, these veterans continue to wait for their children, who wait 12 or more years to join their elderly parents, Akaka said.

In the House, Representative Maisie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has sponsored a companion bill. 

Currently, in the Senate it's been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).  Here is a list of the members from that committee (LIST).  Go to it, and start calling and emailing the members from your home state! Get them to champion the bill!  And for the tough Republicans... call them out on FAMILY VALUES and thanking our veterans! If they're gonna preach for strong families and honor for our veterans, this bill should be a no-brainer!

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Ramon M (not verified) on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 20:49

We hope and pray that for the nth time, both US congress and senate would fast track and pass this bill to its fruition. It's pathetic that our filipino WW2 veterans continue to endure and strugle for rights and priviledges due them after they have given their share. This bill has no budget appropriation needed but simply honest to goodness recognition of their services. Hence, may the good senators and congressmen see its urgency and importance beyond partisanship.

Tuyo, MacArthur, Leyte (not verified) on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 00:41

For Sen. Akaka and Rep. Hirono: Sir/Madam with your untiring and unselfish support for the Filipino World War II Veterans, please push once more the reset button for the re-booting of the Family Reunification Act of 2009. The bill seemed to have hanged along the way. The vets who have been so patient awaiting for this bill transformed into law are now in their 80s and 90s. Their designed lives are almost reached. As a son of one of them and in behalf of the rest of the beneficiaries, we pledge to be responsible enough NOT to become extra loads to the US but rather contributors in our own little ways to the good and well-being of the American communities of our destination.

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