A series of outreach events is being held by Senator Mazie K. Hirono in an attempt to help Filipino veterans of World War II to apply for family reunions with those who still live in the Philippines. The first outreach event was held on 2 July, which brought together almost 50 Filipino veterans and members of their families.
Assistance and information on the USCIS Filipino WWII Veterans Parole Program was provided at the event by Hawaii Chapter members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association together with David Dulick, the District Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program allows Filipino veterans whose service has been given official US Department of Defense recognition, to apply to bring certain family members, including children, to the United States. Surviving spouses are also eligible.
Hirono says that Filipino veterans of World War II have been waiting for decades to be able to reunite with family members currently in the Philippines. The recognition by the Obama administration of the importance of such reunions for veterans is much appreciated. Hirono adds that the implementation of the program is vital and that she will work with non-profit organizations and US Citizenship and Immigration Services to ensure the provision of help and information to the veterans.
Filipino veterans were given citizenship to recognize the service they gave the United States during the Second World War but the same did not apply to many of their children.