Parole visas for Pinoy WWII vets hailed in NY forum
The Philippine Consulate General in New York has hailed the implementation of the United States government's Parole Visa Program that benefits US-based Filipino World War II veterans and their families in the Philippines.
In a forum last week, Deputy Consul General Kira Azucena described the program's implementation as "an important milestone triumph in the nationwide Filipino-American community's ongoing campaign in lobbying the US government to grant Filipino veterans the honor and recognition due to them."
She added that this newly enacted policy is timely considering that 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US.
With the Parole Visa Program, many Filipino WWII veterans are expected to be reunited with their families in the Philippines, Azucena said.
There is an estimated 2,000 to 6,000 Filipino-American WWII veterans who are living in the US.
Azucena said the program will also encourage the Filipino-American community to continue supporting nationwide efforts to lobby the US government on Filipino veteran matters, notably the pending House bill H.R. 2737 on the Awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal.
On August 27, the consulate hosted a town hall forum explaining the parole program policy based on the executive order signed by President Barack Obama on June 8.
The attendees were further informed that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started to allow certain Filipino WWII family members who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions an opportunity to receive a discretionary grant of parole on an individual case basis, so that they may come to the United States as they wait for their immigrant visa to become available.
This parole policy was first announced in the White House report "Modernizing and Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century" issued in July 2015. —KBK, GMA News