October 30, 2020

Senator Hirono Leads Resolution to Recognize Filipino American History Month

HONOLULU – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced a resolution in the United States Senate to recognize October as Filipino American History Month. S. Res. 761 honors and celebrates the history and culture of Filipino Americans. It also honors Filipino-American contributions to the United States. Representative T.J. Cox (D-Calif.) introduced a similar resolution in the House. 

“This resolution acknowledges the immense contributions of Filipino Americans to our country over hundreds of years. This includes the Filipino World War II veterans who served our country with courage and bravery—and sacrificed greatly for it. We must honor them by making sure that they can reunite with their children by passing the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act,” Senator Hirono said. “This year, we also recognize the critical roles that nearly 500,000 Filipino-American healthcare workers fill on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The resolution was cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Senator Hirono has led similar efforts to commemorate Filipino American History Month, introducing a similar resolution during the last three Congresses alongside her other efforts to advocate for the Filipino-American community. Following years of advocacy, Senator Hirono helped secure the creation of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program in 2016. In August 2019, the Trump Administration announced it was terminating the program, a decision Senator Hirono criticized. Senator Hirono led her colleagues in sending a letter to USCIS, urging it to rescind that decision.

Last year, Senator Hirono reintroduced the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, which she previously introduced in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. This legislation would help reunite families by expediting the visa process for children of Filipino World War II Veterans. 

Following years of advocacy from Senator Hirono and the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans of World War II in October 2017.

The full text of the U.S. Senate resolution is available here.