Faster family reunification in the works for Filipino WWII vets

SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino World War II veteran Leocadio Ansis, 88, originally petitioned his son, Enrique, to legally come to the United States in 1992.

After more than 22 years, he was notified that his son’s paperwork has finally started.

Then on Wednesday news broke that the Obama administration will be looking to reunite Filipino World War II veterans with their families sooner through a new policy.

“I would say it is too long already for waiting and you realize that some of my peers have faded away already so I would be praying that these people who are still around that their dreams can come true with their families coming to join us,” said Ansis.

In a report released by the White House, the Department of Homeland Security will partner with the State Department to create a program to allow certain family members of the veterans to come to the U.S. under parole status on a case-to-case basis.

This comes off of President Barack Obama’s executive actions in November to improve immigration.

Long time advocates for these veterans like Attorney Lou Tancinco say that while this is long overdue, it is still appreciated because of the need for these veterans to be with their families.

“It’s actually a humanitarian case for Filipino veterans,” said Tancinco. “Most of them are living alone and some are widows and their partners are not here but they’re only relying on their children who cannot come here because of the long petitioning process and the priority dates are not coming yet.”

Tancicno also believes that the president’s executive action was one of the few ways that made this plan even possible.

“I think to get a legislation to be passed in Congress is going to take several years, I would say, or at least it would have some opposition again,” said Tancinco. “What is happening right now is that there is more politics than laws and when we put the issue of families of Filipino veterans it’s going to take forever.”

Veterans like Ansis agree that it would bring them great joy to share their remaining years with family members they hardly get to see.

“It is very, very important that families stick together especially now that we’re getting closer to where we are going and maybe they can take care of us also that’s the most important thing too,” said Ansis.

With this announcement from the White House, these Filipino World War II veterans and their advocates remain hopeful that full recognition and benefits as well as the Congressional Gold Medal for their services will also be rendered in the near future.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Juliana Urap-Adviento
    20 July 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Greetings!
    I was so glad when my sister in the US called me up just to tell me that House Bill No. 483 has been approved. Is it true, Sir? So I google that bill, including your news item in Balitang America, dated July 16, 2015.
    My father is naturalized World War ll Veteran and is turning 92 on Aug. 6 this year. On the other hand, I have an approved F3 petition with priority date Aug. 2, 2006 and at the same time, holding a Multiple Entry Visa that will expire on March 2020.
    Please allow me to seek assistance from you on the first thing to do to be able to start the processing of my papers, in case I am covered or qualified in any of these circumstances.
    Waiting for your reply.

  • Rey Quibin
    20 August 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    inquire about reunification program for FIL-aM WW11 Vets to reunite their families from the Philippines to the United States.

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