Sons and Daughters of Our Fathers
(To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to give a visa to an alien who was fathered by a US citizen after 1950 in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand.)
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made (Isaiah 43:5-7 NIV).
WHEREAS, in 1992 when the military bases pulled out from the Philippines, they returned to the US taking almost everything. Very little was left behind except for most of the Amerasian children, fathered by American servicemen and tactical support civilians. These children, called Amerasians, are still receiving a deaf ear and blind eye from Washington; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that there are 50,000 Amerasians in the Philippines as a whole who are the children of both our servicemen and civilian contractors. Amerasians in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand are granted immediate US citizenship, but those born in the Philippines and Japan live as outcasts and are given no special consideration from the United States government.
WHEREAS, Amerasians, regardless of the specific country where they were born, are Asian Americans. They could only become Amerasians by having one parent as an American at the time of their birth. In today's modern society, if an American woman gives birth to an Amerasian child, that child is automatically seen and accepted as a US citizen and has rights to immigrate to the US; and
WHEREAS, when an Amerasian child is born of an American father, the situation changes drastically. Acceptance as a US citizen is questioned, criticized, and microscopically examined.
WHEREAS, Public Law 97-359 was passed to set right the unfortunate situation of Amerasians, who due to their illegitimate birth or blended race makeup, have little or no possibility of evading their plight. However, the Filipino and Japanese Amerasians were excluded from eligibility because the Congress ruled that the Philippines and Japan were not considered war zones; and
WHEREAS, though the Philippines and Japan were not considered war zones, the extent and nature of the US military involvement in both countries were no different to US military involvement in other Asian countries during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The Philippines and Japan played vital roles during those times of war as supply and stationing bases that brought tens of thousands of US military personnel to these countries; and
WHEREAS, since they were as vital as the other Asian countries, why does the United States government not give Amerasians in these two countries equal rights to other Asian countries that are benefiting from PL 97-359 Filipino and Japanese Amerasians are no different than the Amerasians in Laos, Korea, Kampuchea, Thailand, or Vietnam. They were all fathered by American servicemen and contractors who the US government stationed in the Philippines and Japan to win the war against North Korea and Vietnam; and
WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment mentions two types of citizenship-citizenship by birth and citizenship by law (naturalized citizens)-all persons born in the United States are citizens by birth. Current US statutes define certain individuals born overseas as citizens by birth; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress has the power to define citizenship to children born outside the United States. Congress can set different citizenship requirements for children born to American mothers versus American fathers;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the General Conference of The United Methodist Church petition our US Senators and Representatives to amend Public Law 97-359 to extend and grant US citizenship to Filipino and Japanese Amerasians and give them the right to immigrate to the United States of America to join their parents and to give them the chance to have a better life free from oppression.
See Social Principles, ¶ 162H.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.