The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its intention to terminate a parole program that intends to help Filipino World War II veterans and their families.
In an op-ed for The Hill published on Nov. 5., retired Major General Antonio Taguba has called out the decision to terminate the Filipino WWII Veterans Parole program.
“This year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a notice that it intended to terminate a program intended to support our veterans, known as the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program,” Taguba said in his piece. “The same government that recognized the ‘bravery, valor, and dedication’ of the Filipino World War II veterans and announced that it was ‘forever indebted’ to them is now turning its back on them once more.”
The parole program, which was announced by former President Barrack Obama in 2014, allows family members of Filipino WWII veterans who have approved I-130 family-based petitions to enter the country as they wait for their visas to become available.
They can also apply for a permanent resident status during this time, AsAm News reported.
However, on Aug. 2, the USCIS announced the termination, citing individuals were able to “skip the line and bypass the proper channels established by Congress” as the reason.
“With the termination of these programs, these individuals will no longer be permitted to wait in the United States for their family-based green card to become available, consistent with the rules that apply to the rest of the world,” the announcement continued.
The termination of the parole program is part of the Trump administration’s initiative to limit immigration.
“The policy enabled elderly Filipino World War II veterans to have their family members join them in the United States to provide care and support,” Taguba said, “and it has had a profound impact on the veterans and their families who are now together and able to care for one another and provide support on a daily basis.”
Taguba, who is the chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project, retired after more than three decades of service in the U.S. Army.
After his retirement, he became involved with helping WWII veterans get the benefits promised to them while fighting for the country.
“The United States must honor the commitment made to these veterans and their families,” he said. “Our remaining veterans are now in their nineties, and some have passed the centennial mark.”
“The Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program was created to support those who bravely defended the United States during the war. There is no honor in ending it.”
Feature Image Screenshot via Kababayan Weekly (Left)