Son of Filipino WWII veteran fights to stay in the U.S., with military immigration relief measures

WASHINGTON D.C. — It has been a year since part-time ride-sharing driver Jose Juliano Baldoza Junior and his family immigrated to the U.S.

But there were many bumps along the way for Jose — particularly when it came to his immigration status.

Jose’s petitioner was his father, Jose Amor Baldoza, who was stationed in a U.S. regiment in Okinawa during WWII.

The veteran was among those who lobbied the U.S. Congress to award him and his fellow Filipino soldiers’ full military benefits promised to them when they served in WWII.

While Jose was waiting for his visa to be approved, his petitioner, his father, passed in 1998.

He went to nursing school to find other ways to come to the U.S. but upon graduation, the U.S. had stopped hiring foreign nurses at that time.

Just when he was about to lose hope, in 2016, then-president Barack Obama signed an executive order reuniting Filipino World War II veterans and their families.

At New York Center for Education and Legal Remedies, Attorney Lara Greg, explains how immediate relatives can become a substitute for a principal petitioner who passed.

“Even if he passed away, he was a main resident or a primary resident of the U.S., which is why he was able to allow the principal beneficiary, which is the son, in this case, to have a substitute petitioner, in this case, I understand that his sibling was the substitute petitioner.”

But his children have aged out of the petition by this time.

Attorney Gregory says there’s a legal relief for that as well known as the Child Status Protection Act.

“Even if they aged out they still applied the benefits due them when they were kids.”

Jose says there may be dozens of war veteran families whose immigrants petitions have died, as many of our aging manongs are in their twilight years — but his message is simple: Don’t lose hope and get legal help from qualified immigration attornies, who can help navigate them in this oftentimes overwhelming immigration process.

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  • Mario
    17 July 2019 at 1:41 am - Reply

    My advice, hire an immigration lawyer,not just a regular lawyer,be sure they specialized in immigration law, not criminal lawyer or corporate lawyer. Never work with those Pinoys NOTARIO, or travel agents,this are Fake or just FIXERs. Your case is still complicated, you have to be ready to spend a LOT of money..