The Trump administration, in an apparent drive to erase any vestige of President Obama’s tenure, will end a three-year-old program that allowed family members of Filipino World War II veterans to stay in the US while waiting for their green cards to be approved, a process that can take decades.
On Friday (August 2) , the US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it would terminate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program and Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program based on an executive order from President Donald Trump.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, who authored the bill allowing the parole program, noted that in some cases it could take up to 20 years for someone to get their green card, meaning many veterans would die before having the opportunity to be reunited with their family members. Hirono said the USCIS’s decision was just the latest in Trump’s “pathological need to treat immigrants as cruelly as possible, and to undo any program ever created by Barack Obama.”
“The depths of Donald Trump’s inhumanity where immigrants are concerned knows no bottom, but not even the most loyal of his supporters can be in favor of disrespecting the brave and distinguished service of veterans who fought alongside Americans and helped us win the war,” Hirono said in a statement.
In a press release, USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli explained that the decision was based on fairness.
“Under these categorical parole programs, individuals have been able to skip the line and bypass the proper channels established by Congress,” Cuccinelli said.“With the termination of these programs, these individuals will no longer be permitted to wait in the United States for their family-based green card to become available, consistent with the rules that apply to the rest of the world.”
An angry Hirono responded: “There is no purpose to keeping the families of the quickly diminishing number of Filipino World War II veterans separated.”
“They have been ignored and disrespected by this country for decades. They deserve our thanks, not spite from their unhinged president.”