Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Loophole Exposes a Generation of Americans to Deportation

Loophole Exposes a Generation of Americans to Deportation

Due to a loophole, thousands of adoptees are not American citizens. This can lead to deportation, even after a lifetime in the United States.

[DIGEST: NY Times, Washington Post, NBC, Daily Mail]

Thirty-seven years ago, Adam Crapser was adopted from South Korea by a U.S. couple. On October 24, an immigration court denied his final request to stay in the United States. Just weeks later, he  was deported to South Korea, a country he has not seen since he was three years old.

While Crapser could have appealed the decision, he opted not to so as to avoid further detention. Lori Walls of the Washington Immigration Defense Group, who represents Crapser, said he was “desperate” to be out. He had been detained in a federal immigration detention center in Tacoma, Washington for nine months.

Crapser’s deportation was the result of a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The Act automatically granted citizenship to those living legally in the United States under IR-4 documents—the documents given to adopted children. It also automatically extended citizenship to future adoptees. Prior to the Act's passage, adoptive parents needed to apply for naturalization for their children to become citizens. But, according to Becky Belcore, who was also adopted from South Korea at a young age, “[a] lot of times, parents simply didn’t know that they were supposed to do it.”

Credit: Source.

While good news for many adoptees, the Act was not retroactive, with the unhappy result that adoptees already over the age of 18 when the Act passed were not automatically granted citizenship. According to the advocacy group Adoptee Rights Campaign, about 35,000 people currently fall within this loophole. While adoptees can apply for citizenship, citizenship may be denied if they have committed minor crimes.

This is what happened to Crapser. Crapser applied for a green card in 2012 so that he could be eligible for long-term employment. However, due to a criminal record stemming from a difficult childhood,

he was flagged for deportation instead. His lawyer said that she was shocked that the fact that Crapser “was adopted, abandoned and abused . . . carried relatively little weight in the decision that the immigration court made” to deport him. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

Congress has the opportunity to close the loophole with the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015. The bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate in November of last year by a bipartisan group of Senators. If the law passes, it would grant retroactive U.S. citizenship to those currently falling under the loophole, and would create a path for certain adoptees who have been deported to come back the United States.

“The issue is simple: the bill ensures that adoption is the creation of a legal family, no strings attached,” said Kelsey Yoon, a Washington D.C.-based attorney.

Credit: Source.

Kevin H. Vollmers, founder of Land of Gazillion Adoptees, a nonprofit dedicated to the development of resources and tools that aid adopted people, concurred. “U.S. citizenship is a symbol of what was promised to all international adoptees.”

While the act sits on the Senate floor, Crasper remains resigned to his fate in a country that is unknown to him. “I’m hopeful Adam figures out how to make a life in [South Korea], where he doesn’t speak the language, read the language or know anything about the culture,” said his lawyer. His birth mother, who put Crapser and his sister up for adoption because she could not afford to keep him, is learning English so that they can communicate.

Despite his uncertain future, Crapser continues to advocate for the adoption of the Adoptee Citizenship Act. “While I am disappointed in the judge’s ruling and worried about my family’s future, I hope that what has happened to me will further demonstrate the importance of passing the Adoptee Citizenship Act,” said Crasper in a statement.

Emily Kessell of the Adoptee Rights Campaign was less sanguine. “It is time for lawmakers to stop making excuses and pass legislation that will put an end to the deportation of Americans. Because that is what adoptees are. Americans.”

More from News

Matthew Perry in '90210'; Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry in '90210'

Poignant '90210' Scene Featuring Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty And Luke Perry Resurfaces

A clip of Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry alongside Jason Priestley in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 has resurfaced following Doherty's death on Saturday, and it's hitting fans hard.

The poignant scene from the series' first season was recently shared on Threads and quickly made its way across other platforms.

Keep ReadingShow less
Terrell Davis
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

United Airlines Apologizes After NFL Hall Of Famer Is Handcuffed In Front Of His Family On Flight

United Airlines issued an apology after NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis was handcuffed in front of his family and other passengers for tapping a flight attendant on the arm during a flight.

The former Denver Broncos running back (1995-2002) took to Instagram earlier this week to address the "traumatizing events" that transpired while he was traveling with his wife and three children.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Matt Gaetz being confronted by an RNC delegate

RNC Attendee Confronts 'A**hole' Gaetz For Going After McCarthy In Hilariously Brutal Takedown

Far-right Florida Representative Matt Gaetz was brilliantly shut down by a delegate attending the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee after Gaetz was seen taunting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Gaetz, who led the charge to oust McCarthy from the speakership in October 2023, noticed him being interviewed by CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the convention and went over to rag on his political nemesis.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Brenna Bird

Iowa AG Dragged For Ironically Boasting At RNC That Republicans Put Criminals 'In Jail'

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird was criticized after telling the audience at the Republican National Convention that the GOP is known to "put criminals where they belong: in jail"—only to then encourage everyone to vote for convicted felon former President Donald Trump.

In May, Trump became the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes. The jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to illegally influence the 2016 election. His sentencing was set for July 11 but has now been delayed in the wake of a Supreme Court decision granting him sweeping immunity protections.

Keep ReadingShow less
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Vivek Ramaswamy
Steven Ferdman/GC Images; Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

AOC Gives Vivek Ramaswamy Brutal Tip On How To Be 'Cool' After His RNC Challenge To Gen Z

Biotech entrepreneur and former GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was given a lesson by New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about "being cool" after he made an appeal to Generation Z during the Republican National Convention, telling them they can be "rebels" if they call themselves "conservative" on college campuses.

Speaking from the podium at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ramaswamy issued the following remarks designed to court the youth:

Keep ReadingShow less