Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Speaker, as we begin the much-anticipated discussion on immigration reform, we have tended to overlook a critical aspect of it, and that is called family reunification.
What's the problem? Family reunification has arbitrary caps and major backlogs. The caps are about 114,000 per country, and most countries have an average of 10 years of backlog. They're working on 2003 applications. But there is one country that has had a greater rate, and that is the Philippines. This is the saddest example.
The Filipino World War II veterans were promised full rights for fighting with us against the Japanese in World War II. After the war, there was the Rescission Act of 1946 which took away that promise. In 1990, we finally made good on that promise, but we're processing 1989 applications to reunify these families. Many can't travel anymore. Many can't wait. Families are critical to the success of this country.
Small businesses are built with families, values of unity, caring for elders.
We must keep our promise.