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The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco partnered with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) in organizing a second community forum on the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) Program, which was held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on 11 July 2016.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon thanked the USCIS and WHIAAPI officers, immigration law practitioners and the Filipino-American Community for promoting the rights and welfare of Filipino-American war veterans and their families.

USCIS San Francisco District Director John Kramar gave a brief presentation of the Program, which would reunite families of World War II veterans while they wait for their permanent resident permits to be processed.  He added that the Program took effect on 08 July 2016, and that the USCIS has been conducting community outreach events to explain the mechanics of the Program.

Ana Fortes, Regional Adviser on Asian American and Pacific Islanders of Northern California, thanked USCIS and the Consulate for organizing the forum and underscored the importance given by the Obama Administration to the reunification of the families of WWII veterans.

For this outreach, Director Kramar was accompanied by two experts from the USCIS Head Office who worked directly on the substance of the Parole Program.  Allison Kent, USCIS Associate Counsel for Refugee and Asylum Law Division, and Stephanie Kwan, USCIS Branch Chief of International Operations Division, answered detailed questions from immigration lawyers and the FilCom during the open forum that followed.

Ms. Kent and Ms. Kwan previously spoke at similar forums in San Diego and Carson City.  According to them, the outreach was an effective way of seeking feedback from the Community and immigration lawyers, with a view to further improving the program.  A USCIS representative was also present during the Consulate’s outreach in Salinas on 16 July 2016.

For more information on the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program, please visit END