President Barack Obama can help Filipino World War II veterans

by Erin Oshiro

When War World II veteran Art Caleda donned the colors of the U.S. military uniform to serve, he was promised by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt that after the war, he would receive U.S. citizenship and full veterans’ benefits. It took 50 years for the United States to begin to fulfill that promise, finally granting War World II veterans U.S. citizenship in 1990.

Now, these veterans are still waiting 20-plus more years for their children to join them in the United States from the Philippines. Our veterans are now in their 80s and 90s, and their children are living on another continent, unable to help care for their parents in their golden years.

As part of the November 2014 executive actions, President Obama promised he’d create a task force that would issue recommendations to improve the legal immigration system, including alleviating the visa backlog. The task force was supposed to issue recommendations by March 21st — 120 days after the president’s November announcements — but we’re still waiting.

While we wait for Congress to enact commonsense reforms to fix our immigration system for all families, we are calling on the president to take action now to help Filipino War World II veterans, who have waited patiently for full recognition of their service to America.

Read our issue brief on how the president can help Filipino War World II veterans today.

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