For Philippine Immigrant, Kennedy remained tireless advocate

A recent article from AP focuses on Senator Ted Kennedy’s efforts in immigration reform reminding Americans of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Senator Kennedy who passed away last week at the age of 77 pushed for immigration reform championing legislation that directly benefited immigrants, their children and their grandchildren. The 1965 law that he sponsored fundamentally changed the demographics of the country and transformed many urban enclaves into majority-minority cities.

BOSTON — Before 1965, Leticia Hermosa had little chance of crossing the Pacific to the U.S. from the Philippines. Hermosa, a nurse, and others like her just couldn’t get through the strict U.S. immigration quota system, which favored Western Europeans and essentially excluded those from Asia and Latin America.

But after Sen. Edward Kennedy pushed through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the door opened for her to immigrate in 1973 to Boston, where she eventually finished school, got a law degree and became a U.S. citizen.

On Thursday, Hermosa stood in line with thousands of others at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum to pay her respects to the late senator. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today,” said the 55-year-old Hermosa, who now lives in Westwood, Mass.

As a side note, my only problem with this article from AP is that why is Leticia Hermosa the only Filipino-American interviewed while the rest are Mexican and Latino Americans? This makes me wonder if the reporters at AP thought since Leticia’s last name is Hermosa that she should be included in a series of interviews along with Mexican and Latino Americans. I just find that piece of the article awkward due to the fact that there are so many Filipino immigrants to interview. We Fil-Ams are the 2nd largest group of Asians in the US, so what gives AP?

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