Filipino WWII veterans and advocates protest Trump administration for cutting visa parole program

A press release is from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS — announced the termination of the Filipino WWII veterans parole program, which promotes family reunification.

According to the USCIS acting director Ken Cuccinelli, the parole program should be done on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public health.

Luisia Antonio, executive director of the Bayanihan Equity Center, says she is shocked by this move by the Trump administration.

She acknowledges that the White House wants to crack down on immigration.

However, she questions why the parole program is being terminated.

“The intent of the program is to make sure that their children who have been waiting for so many years will be able to get reunited with them for the purpose of taking care of them. Even the process is taking a long time to be reunited with their children. And for the program to be terminated it just saddens me and it disappoints me.”

Filipino WWII veterans receive congressional gold medals in Sacramento

On Filipino American History Month, WWII veterans and survivors held a special ceremony 75 years in the making in Sacramento.

Antonio wants to reassure the families of WWII veterans that despite the news of the termination of the program — all is not lost.

“All of those applications that are already submitted, it will be processed so they shouldn’t panic. But for as long as there is no official policy change, and as long as there is no official changes in the I-131, and how they will apply, we should still continue submitting our FWVB parole program applications.”

Antonio argues — the termination of the parole program once again disrespects the sacrifices of veterans.

“What are we giving the veterans who fought for this country? And is that the kind of policies that we would like the soldiers, the men and women in uniform who are defending this country, and that’s how they get treated in the future. That’s just sad.”

Antonio, along with other organizations, are encouraging people to call their congressional representatives and urge them to protect the parole program.

The program went into effect in 2016 and was set to expire in 2021.

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