When the US naval bases in the Philippines closed in 1992, the military left behind thousands of Amerasian children. Since the closings, American presence still exists and -contrary to initial estimate of 52,000 – it is now estimated that there are 250,000 Amerasian children, ranging from newborn to geriatric, abandoned in the Philippines. These Amerasians are acutely vulnerable, particularly to human trafficking, and painfully stigmatized. They live in abject poverty, forcing them to continue the cycle of marginalized sub-existence and prostitution.
How can one be half-American and still not a citizen? The US Senate Judiciary Committee rejected attempts to include the Philippines in the Naturalization Act, “claiming that Filipino Amerasians were not victims of discrimination, that they were conceived from illegal prostitution, and that, unlike Amerasians in South Korea and Vietnam, they were born during peacetime. But none of these are conscionable grounds for selectively preventing Filipino Amerasians from coming to this country.
At a time when the issue of immigration reform is before the nation, Amerasians need new leaders in Congress to speak on their behalf. What’s more, the military has recently announced that it will restore a significant presence in the Philippines; last year, over 70 ships stopped at Subic Bay, and over 100 planes stop at Clark Air Base each month. The United States, then, has an opportunity for redemption — to make sure Filipino Amerasians are not left behind by the ship again.” (1)
(1) “The Forgotten Amerasians,” by Christopher M. Lapinig, Op-Ed page, The New York Times, May 27, 2013 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/opinion/the-forgotten-amerasians.html?_r=0)
(2) “Five times more ‘G.I. babies’than previously thought,” by Jarius Bondoc, The Philippine Star, December 17, 2012 (http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2012-12-17/886826/five-times-more-g.i.-babiesthan-previously-thought)
(3) “America’s forgotten children,” The Stream, Aljazeera, September 13, 2013 (http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/americas-forgotten-children)
Spent 18 mos. Subic Bay, have suffered with Cancers, Heart attacks, aneurysms, respiratory problems, and denials from the government reference to the half hazard handling of toxic waste at both Subic and Clark Military bases, and I feel shame for the way that we left the Philippine Islands. Whether we agreed to clean-up the bases when we left or not, we as a people, still have an obligation to human life..
Thank you for your support for the need for fairness to clean up the toxic wastes left behind. Thank you for reading my blog entries.
Is there other resources one could find additional info?