Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When There is No "Forever" or "Same As if Born To" in Adoption!

Korean Woman, Adopted as Infant, Facing Deportation in Arizona

A Korean woman in Arizona, who was adopted and brought to the U.S. when she was eight months old, is facing deportation after a second conviction for theft, reports the Korea Times. The 31-year-old mother of three is currently being held in a federal detention center in Arizona.

According to officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Seo (not her real name) was first convicted on theft charges in 2008, for which she served a seven-month sentence. She was arrested on a second theft charge in 2009, and sentenced to a year-and-half in jail. In January, ICE initiated deportation proceedings against her, requesting for a travel certificate from the Korean consulate in Los Angeles.

Officials say the decision to deport the woman was based on the nature of her crimes and on the likelihood of repeat offenses. Current law stipulates that legal residents can be deported if they are convicted for crimes involving drugs, prostitution or other nefarious activities, or if they are sentenced to more than a year in prison.

The Korean consulate, meanwhile, has requested that the deportation decision be withdrawn for humanitarian reasons, citing the fact that the woman has never returned to her country of birth since her adoption, her inability to speak Korean and her three children, all of whom were born in the United States.

According to Korea’s L.A. Consul General Jae-soo Kim, it would be “impossible for the woman to live a normal life in Korea given that she has no contact with relatives or friends there.” That aside, he adds, being a single mother, her deportation would leave her three children at the mercy of government institutions.

“Although [she] was adopted as an infant, she is only a green card holder and not a citizen,” says Kim, adding that adoption laws were changed after 2004, long after Seo’s adoption, to grant adoptees citizenship 45 days after their arrival in the country. “I’m not sure why she never applied for citizenship as an adult,” he says.

According to ICE, a large number of adoptees have been deported in recent years. Many of them said they were unaware of their non-citizen status.

“For the sake of Seo and her three children I hope ICE reconsiders their decision to deport her.”


I would like to know what her adoptive parents are doing on her behalf?? You're going to send this woman back to a country when she likely doesn't speak a word of Korean after promising her a "forever" family and to be loved "the same as if she were born" to them???

I hope this sparks an international outcry as did sending Artyem, the 7 year old, back to Russia alone on a plane!


Susie said...

This is a travesty! I also have been wondering where her adoptive parents are, there hasn't been a word about their fight for their daughter.

This should become an outcry, but I don't see it happening. So very sad, so inhumane.

Mirah Riben said...

What I am being told via FB is thatr her adoptive parents were supposed to file for naturalization on her behalf.

choose joy said...

Well, yes! I was adopted in the early 70's by Americans living in my country of birth. After years, when they returned to the US they immediately applied for my naturalization papers. How could people possibly overlook this? And after overlooking it how could they possibly not try to remedy it now? So sad! Perhaps the growing contingent of adoptees who have returned to Korea can take her under their wing or something? So sad!

Christy said...

I hope it doesn't happen and therefore no outcry is needed. I'm not sure what's going on with her parents or why she never got citizenship. This is very disturbing that AZ is threatening this. Does the state have the right to do that or do they need federal cooperation?

Mirah Riben said...

I believe it is Federal Immigration Law being strictly enforced since 9/11.

I'd like o see an outcry to prevent it happening! I have read of others adoptees facing similar actions and unfortunately have not seen follow-up on any so I do not know if any were actually deported.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

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