Washington, DC — Congressman Charles K. Djou (HI-01) sent a letter today to His Excellency Benigno Aquino, the President of the Philippines, inviting him to visit the State of Hawai‘i in September, when he is already scheduled to visit the United States.

The letter, in part, reads:

Hawai‘i’s large Filipino-American population, long history, and shared values make a visit the perfect beginning or ending point of your trip to the United States. The Filipino-American community in Hawai‘i is ready and willing to offer a warm mabuhay.

With just two months in office, Congressman Djou has already made strengthening the relationship with the Philippines a legislative priority. Importantly, Congressman Djou has introduced a resolution calling for a free trade agreement between the United State and the Philippines. As the Congressman noted at the time:

“This resolution moves us toward a deeper partnership with the Philippines, which has been a constant and crucial ally.

“A vibrant American-Filipino relationship is in the best interests of the United States and Hawai‘i, in particular, where roughly one-fifth of the population is of Filipino descent. Strengthening that relationship will provide for a stronger and more prosperous Hawai‘i.”

In addition, Congressman Djou met with the Filipino Ambassador to the United States, Willy Gaa. The Ambassador and Mr. Djou discussed the need for a free trade agreement and for expanding the number of visas that the U.S. Government issues, especially for the purpose of family reunification—an issue of particular importance to the Filipino-American community.

Following his meeting with Ambassador Gaa, Congressman Djou introduced “The Family Reunification Act of 2010,” which would provide visas to spouses and children of lawful permanent residents for the purpose of reuniting families who have been or could be separated while immigrating to the United States.

Submitted by Daniel Son, for Congressmember Djou

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