Filipino Migration to the U.S.

Impact of World War II on Filipino Migrant Workers

In the 1940s and 1950s, Stockton had a sizable Filipino community. Here an estimated 500 second generation Filipino children had emerged more than half of whom were products of mixed marriages. Although this pattern eventually became the reality in many Filipino communities in the United States, American acceptance of the Filipinos was gradual and late.

World War II was significant in transforming American attitudes toward Filipinos. At the outbreak of the war, Filipinos were barred from joining the armed forces. But in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt finally allowed Filipinos to be drafted into military service. Many Filipinos fought side by side with the Americans in Europe and Asia. Others contributed by becoming civilians involved in the mobilization efforts during the war. At the end of the war, the Filipinos had earned the acceptance and admiration of the American public. The Filipinos regained their dignity after many years of discrimination and racism. Through the war, the Filipinos had proven their right to become citizens of the United States. An amendment to the Nationality Act of 1940 allowed the noncitizens who joined the military to avail of citizenship. Close to ten thousand Filipinos availed themselves of this opportunity.