Justice for Filipino Veterans

In a recent article by Liz Macera from the Examiner, focused on how Veterans Day 2009 should remind everyone of the Filipino soldiers’ long struggle for justice. The article went into full detail of how the Filipinos who fought for the U.S. against the Japanese in World War II were promised U.S. citizenship and veterans’ benefits by Congress. However, this promise was retracted in the 1946 Rescission Act. It was not until 1990 that an amendment to the Immigration and Naturalization Act awarded Filipino WWII veterans the right to apply for US citizenship and almost 20 years later that other benefits were allocated. HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the economic stimulus bill), passed in February 2009 and granted Filipino WWII soldiers full veterans’ rights. The provision compensates these veterans with lump-sum payments of $15,000 for U.S. citizens or $9,000 for Filipino citizens at a total cost of $198 million. The money had been allocated in 2008 and therefore did not affect the stimulus bill funding.

Filipino veterans have until February 16, 2010 to register for benefits.

Information about how to register

Veteran’s must complete and register form Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund – Form 21-4138 (CF), Statement in Support of Claim. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs must receive this form on or before February 16, 2010.

Click here for more information on the struggle of the Filipino veterans

National Federation of Filipino American Associations

Additional Sources:
NY Times
Chicago Tribune
Manila Standard Today

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