Rep. Speier pledges continued fight to grant Filipino vets full military benefits

DALY CITY, CA — For the first time in the history of Daly City, the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action flag was flown in commemoration of Veterans Day.

According to Daly City’s Filipino American Mayor Ray Buenaventura, the city council put forward a resolution to honor all veterans in the community.

“It unanimously passed, and we thought it was fitting that we do this in conjunction with Rep. Jackie Speier’s town hall event today.”

Democratic congresswoman Speier, a longtime champion of Filipino World War II veterans, held the event to rally support for her bill, H.R. 2823 or the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2019.

“It would restore veteran’s benefits to those who are still living, as Filipino veterans. There some 11,000 of them and then for their widows and family members of those who served as well.”

“I stand beside Rep. Jackie Speier on the issues of equity. Back in the 90s that was one of the issues that got many, many Filipino Americans collegiate organizers to start thinking about politics, to cross organize between generations,” says Dr. Roderick Daus-Magbual.

Besides addressing the injustices Filipino World War II veterans have to endure, Speier also took time to comment on the difficulty immigrant service members face when it comes to getting naturalized.

“There’s a lack of fairness in our country as it relates to those who serve. Right now we have 65,000 immigrants who are serving in the military in the United States and right now this administration doesn’t think they should be able to become citizens.”

In 2017, the Department of Defense implemented new barriers, which restricted immigrants to serve and use it as a path to citizenship.

And in 2018 according to the Associated Press — immigrant recruits were being discharged after qualifying for a program, which highlighted their skills.

Meanwhile, the POW and MIA flag encourages people to remember all service members. By law, it is supposed to be flown six days a year.

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