In this Note, the Author uses science fiction novelist Robert Heinlein's model of citizenship as an analytical framework for examining the historical treatment of Filipino veterans of World War II. The Author Heinlein's conception of citizenship in Starship Troopers was one in which a person can acquire citizenship only through a term of service in the state's armed forces. Similarly, the United States provided immediate eligibility for citizenship to World War II era foreign veterans, but it effectively excluded Filipino veterans from this benefit. The Author examines how the plenary power doctrine in immigration law, has quashed legal challenges by Filipino veterans and created a structural imbalance that not only allows but encourages similar inequities. The Author also notes that while Congress has enacted remedial legislation, this delayed conferral of citizenship without accompanying veteran's benefits is both inadequate and incomplete. Accordingly, the Author suggests that the plenary power doctrine, in the context of the Filipino veterans, must give way to textual reading of the U.S. Constitution which places an express limit of geographic uniformity in the area of naturalization. Drawing from the use of reparations in immigration policy, the Author recommends that further legislative remedies be enacted to ensure that Filipino veterans and their descendants are provided a fair and equitable remedy for their service to the United States.
To Yick Wo, Thanks for Nothing!: Citizenship for Filipino Veterans,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol4/iss2/5