Korean Woman, Adopted as Infant, Facing Deportation in Arizona

Korean Woman, Adopted as Infant, Facing Deportation in Arizona

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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The Korean consulate, meanwhile, has requested that the deportation decision be withdrawn for humanitarian reasons, citing the fact that the woman has never returned to her country of birth since her adoption, her inability to speak Korean and her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.”
 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted Jan 20 2011

As we watch wall street criminals and war criminal politicians walk around freely, we read that ICE (US GOV) goes after people like this. I wonder if when was "stealing" was it to eat and to survive"? We are a nation that care about no one. Thanks for reporting this sad story of how pathetic America has become. Deported after she spent her whole life here, that is low down and uncalled for. Its inhumane.

Anonymous

Posted Jan 20 2011

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

Anonymous

Posted Jan 23 2011

Korean source: http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=1139227

Anonymous

Posted Jan 26 2011

shocking....

Anonymous

Posted Jan 27 2011

If someone is not aware of the non-citizen status, why would they apply and go through the process to become a citizen? The ICE immigration laws are not very clear regarding Adult Adoptees where the adoption took place prior to the Children Citizen Act of 2000

I've tried to figure out the right form to fill out just to renew the green card i was issued when I was brought to the U.S. None of them are really the best suited and I finally settled on some N-9 form last year. It looks like they changed the site to make it easier. The visas issued in the 80s and early 90s did not print any fine print or mention they expired or ever needed to be renewed. The card says "Permanent Resident Alien" and gives an Alien number.

https://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/greencard-renewal.html

In all honesty, I feel the US government is at fault. While laws are subject to change, cases like this cause extreme distress which could be remedied by a simple thing like a notice to all those who were issued visas within a certain date range or a statement on the card such as: Expiration date, or needs to be renewed upon turning 14 years old or 18 years old, or whatever.

Anonymous

Posted Jan 28 2011

I have some questions - what was stolen to get her the Jail time? Cars? Clothes? Or Food? She is an adult woman - definitely old enough to know right from wrong. It's one thing if she's stealing to try to keep her family alive - but where are her parents that adopted her? Did they pass and she's left with no family here other than her children?? The article says it's "inhumane" to deport her because of her three children.... where did the children stay while she served her 1 1/2 years of prison time? Granted, it's not going to "fix" the issue to send her back to Korea where she can steal over there instead of stealing over here... but one usually does not get a year and a half of jail time for Petty Theft.... Before I feel "right" about signing this petition, I need more facts... Sorry Folks... signing off as ... Korean Adult Adoptee

Anonymous

Posted Jan 31 2011

From the State Department website:

"The effective date of the Child Citizenship Act is February 27, 2001. Children who met these requirements on that date automatically became American citizens. Children who were 18 years of age or older on that date did not acquire American citizenship from the Child Citizenship Act of 2000."
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1312.html

There has been a lot of misunderstanding concerning what the law does and does not do, among government officials as well as adoptees.

What a sad situation. Hopefully common sense and compassion will prevail, though these seem to be in short supply in this particular area.

Anonymous

Posted Jun 8 2011

Maybe individuals should recieve automatic citizenship if they are adopted under a certain age. I also don't clear the mother either... but then again her parents may have not treated her properly nor raised her properly either. Where is the father in the picture? She doesn't have any support networks? I think we have larger issues than a person who has lived her entire life and stoled some items...total BS

Anonymous

Posted Jun 25 2011

Anonymous Why don't we deport the rest of the illegals that steal our tax dollars. They (you know who I mean) say that they should get .90 cents of every Americans dollar for medical, food, clothing, and shelter and they're not citizens either. True fact! They're on the media all the time demanding this and you can see it in all the government programs and the free college education given them. America should wake up and forward think what this will do to taxpayers who have lived and worked in America and do not receive the same as the illegals are asking and receiving.....

Anonymous

Posted Nov 7 2011

Some of the comments I read here appear to miss the point. Intercountry adoptees brought to the US as minors had no power or voice of their own, and were adopted through a process that was supposed to assure their citizenship. If adopted individuals commit crimes, they should be tried and punished as citizens. The failures of their adoptive parents, adoption agencies and the U.S. legal system should not be allowed to return them to countries they do not know. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption should work to correct this situation immediately by amending the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 to grant citizenship to all intercountry adoptees who did not receive it under the CCA 2000's provisions.

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