NCAPA Responds to Elimination of Family Reunification ProgramsAugust 5, 2019, 8:47 AM HST (Updated August 5, 2019, 8:47 AM)
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
In response to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement that it will terminate Haitian Family Reunification Parole and Filipino World War II Veterans Parole programs, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement:
“National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is outraged at the Trump Administration’s decision to end two categorical parole programs— Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) and Haitian Family Reunification Parole programs, which have allowed family members of program holders to be reunited with their families in the United States. The FWVP program in particular has allowed Filipino veterans, who served under the US military during WWII when the Philippines was a colony of the U.S., to reunite with their adult children.
For many Filipino veterans, the FWVP program is their last chance of reuniting with their children, who were excluded in the 1990 law that granted U.S. citizenship to 26,000 Filipino nationals who served in WWII. NCAPA calls on the administration to reverse its decision to end the FWVP and Haitian Family Reunification Parole programs”
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) National Chairman, Brendan Flores said: “Our brave Filipino World War II Veteran warriors risked their lives to fight for the United States, and this parole program was put in place as a way to honor their service and to acknowledge the dwindling amount of time left to reunite these brave heroes with their families.
It was only a few short years ago that I had the honor and privilege to witness then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan honor our Filipino American WWII veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal at the US Capitol. This honor was the culmination of a true bipartisan effort to recognize the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of these brave men and women. Ending this program now diminishes the legacy of our proud Filipino American WWII veterans, and is an unfortunate rebuke to the very few remaining veterans, whose opportunity to reunite with their families will end with this action.”
NaFFAA Executive Director, Carissa Villacorta stated, “Remaining together as a family, defending sovereignty and fighting for what’s right are very important values for Filipinos. It was because Filipino soldiers fought with their lives many decades ago that American families enjoy many freedoms today.
We call upon this administration to uphold the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program of 2016. We are one nation of immigrants coming from different backgrounds who must continue to share values, resources and courage to stay strong together.
NCAPA National Director, Gregg Orton said: “The Trump Administration continues to find ways to diminish America by sending the clear message that immigrants are not welcomed. While it has been abundantly clear that the Administration cares little for immigrant children and their families, apparently it also has little problem with dishonoring the military service of some immigrants to America itself.”
It has taken decades to even begin to properly honor the service of Filipino Veterans in World War II, and now the Trump Administration is slamming the door on their families who have been separated for those decades.
There is a staggering degree of callousness to end these programs and essentially say: people should use the existing, broken system that has already kept families separated for far too long. We need solutions —not the continued weaponization of our immigration system for political gain.”