CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL OF SUSTAINED FILIPINO IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES -- (Extensions of Remarks - January 31, 2006)
HON. NANCY PELOSI
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2006
* Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of Con. Res. 218 and join my colleagues and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in recognizing the upcoming centennial celebration of sustained Filipino immigration to the United States. For over a century now, Filipino Americans have been a vibrant part of the American story, adding to our great diversity and contributing to the success of our country.
* Since the first small group of Filipino immigrants arrived in 1906 to work in the sugar plantations of Hawaii, Filipino Americans have been an important part of our country's history. Indeed, their story of struggle and success is the story of America, whether as migrant laborers working in the fields of California, or as soldiers fighting for freedom and democracy in every major conflict of the past century. One hundred years later, the Filipino American community is now over 2 million strong and the second largest Asian Pacific Islander American community in our country.
* In addition, this centennial also celebrates the strong bond and friendship that the United States and the Philippines have shared for over 100 years. From the period of American governance starting in 1898 and independence in 1946, the Philippines have proven to be one of our most enduring and important allies. Today, that bond has been strengthened through sustained immigration where the exchange of ideas and cultural experiences has added to our diverse landscape.
* I cannot stress enough the enormous contributions of Filipino Americans, especially all those who have served with great distinction in our Armed Services. That is why, as we celebrate this centennial, it is so important to recognize and honor the service of those Filipino veterans who served honorably during World War II. The United States made a promise to these veterans and I will continue to fight to fully restore their benefits that are 6 decades overdue.
* Filipino Americans are the second most populous Asian American community in my district of San Francisco, and I am proud to represent this vibrant and active community in Congress. I look forward to commemorating the contributions of Filipino Americans and advancing the issues of the community throughout the upcoming centennial year.