Fallen Heroes Family Act Makes Visas Available to Foreign Parents of Fallen U.S. Servicemembers

Published: Jan 4, 2010

Bill will help Aid Military Families Following Loss

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently introduced H.R. 4350, the “Fallen Heroes Family Act of 2009.” Each year a number of military families who have lost a loved one face unnecessary difficulties and hardship when trying to bring a surviving parent legally to the United States to raise the U.S. service member’s child.  Recently, the task has been accomplished through the difficult process of private bills in Congress.

“Families of fallen soldiers currently face an arduous process to get foreign parents into the U.S. and they were always considered on a case-by-case basis,” Issa said. “The Fallen Heroes Family Act will enact a permanent change to current U.S. immigration law so that the children of our military families put in this situation can receive help from grandparents.”

The Fallen Heroes Family Act would grant temporary nonimmigrant status to a foreign national parent or permanent guardian of a U.S. Citizen child born outside of the United States when the deceased parent was an active-duty service member of the U.S. Military. The act only applies to active-duty service members of the United States Military who died after September 11, 2001. Upon reaching the age of 21, the U.S. Citizen child may sponsor his or her surviving parent for U.S. citizenship.

The Fallen Heroes Family Act is cosponsored by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Ranking Member Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Rep. Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) and Ranking Member Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI); and House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Ranking Member Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA).