WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2015) – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the White House for announcing plans on Wednesday for a parole program that would allow Filipino American World War II veterans to be reunited with their families. This program was announced as part of a Visa Modernization Task Force report.
“NAPABA commends the Administration for improving our immigration system and for honoring the sacrifices many Filipino veterans have made for our country,” said George C. Chen, president of NAPABA. “This action has been long overdue as these World War II veterans have waited decades to be reunited with their families, including their children.”
During World War II, more than 260,000 Filipino soldiers fought for the United States and were promised citizenship and benefits in honor of their service. After finally being granted eligibility for citizenship decades after their wartime service, these veterans were able to petition for family members to immigrate to the United States. However, family visa backlogs have kept many of these families separated for more than 20 years.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 70 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.
NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.