Legislation would aid reuniting Filipino veterans with their children

A bipartisan congressional group has reintroduced the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, the legislation would speed up the visa process for children of Filipino World War II veterans.

The legislation was introduced in Congress on Tuesday by Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mazie K. Hirono, D-HI, and Representatives Ed Case, D-HI, and Jen Kiggans, R-VA.

“To express our gratitude to the brave Filipino servicemembers who fought for our nation in World War II, we should do what is right and fair for our veterans and their family members,” Murkowski said. “This bill will reunite mothers and fathers with their children, and honor the service of Filipino veterans who served under the American flag.”

More than 260,000 Filipino soldiers enlisted in the U.S. military forces during World War II, of which only a few thousand are still alive today.

Despite their service, Congress passed the Rescission Acts of 1946, which made Filipinos ineligible for benefits granted to other World War II veterans.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush granted U.S. citizenship to about 26,000 Filipino nationals in recognition of their service to the United States during World War II. However, the 1990 law did not confer citizenship or residency to the veterans’ children, who remained separated from their parents. Due to a visa backlog, some Filipino applicants must wait nearly 20 years before their applications are considered.


The Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act would provide a permanent solution by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to exempt from global limits the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans who were naturalized under the 1990 law or other specified laws.