US Deported Adoptee's Remains to be Returned to U.S.

18:50  11 july  2017
18:50  11 july  2017 Source:   NBC News

Deportation a ‘Death Sentence’ to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the U.S.

  Deportation a ‘Death Sentence’ to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the U.S. Adam Crapser is one of the adoptees who were deported to South Korea because their adoptive parents in the U.S. failed to get them citizenship. The government here does not know how many of the 110,000 South Korean children adopted into American families since the 1950s have been deported. When the United States deports Koreans, it does not tell Seoul if they are adoptees. At least six cases have been documented, though, and officials here say that they have been unable to determine the citizenship status of 18,000 Korean adoptees in the United States.

RELATED: Deported Adoptee ’ s Death Heightens Calls for Citizenship Bill. Compton was initially curious as to why Clay' s remains were not sent back to the U . S . He contacted Clay's adoptive parents to see if they would allow him to return Clay' s remain to them.

Just how many have been deported over the years is unknown. One recent case widely reported on involved an adoptee named Adam Crapser. After nearly four decades of living in the U . S ., 41-year-old Crapser returned to South Korea in November

  Deported Adoptee's Remains to be Returned to U.S. © A portrait of Phillip Clay displayed at his funeral in South Korea. The ashes of a man who died in May, several years after being deported to South Korea despite being adopted and raised in the United States, are scheduled to be flown to his adoptive family next week.

Phillip Clay was 42 when he was found dead outside an apartment building on May 21 in Goyang, a city north of Seoul, in an apparent suicide. His body was cremated and the Korean government paid to store his urn, according to Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A'.L), an adoptee-run nonprofit based in Seoul.

Now, representatives from the group are planning to bring Clay's remains back to his adopted parents.

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For Crapser, his native country of South Korea is a completely foreign land and he has returned to Several others like him, who were previously adopted by U . S . parents, have also been deported There are still thousands of other adoptees currently in the U . S . who lack citizenship and can be put

While Joao’ s family struggled to remain together pending his removal, former Congressman William Delahunt, the provision’ s sponsor, spoke of of Homeland Security should expedite the withdrawal of all adult adoptee removal cases and permit deported adoptees to return home to their families.

G.O.A'.L internal adviser and American adoptee John Compton is expected to escort Clay's remains to Incheon International Airport July 13 — where a small farewell vigil is scheduled to be held — and then to Hawaii and Dallas before ending his journey in Philadelphia on July 19, according to the nonprofit.

Compton knew Clay personally, he told NBC News, and picked him up with Korean Adoption Services (KAS) — an adoptee support group that works with South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare — from a Korean prison, where Clay served two years for assault not long after being deported, according to KAS.

"I was in Italy and turned my phone back on to several messages notifying me," Compton told NBC News about his first time hearing of Clay's death. "It really made my heart sink, because I have been advocating for him and others to get the necessary help they need."

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He is not the first to be deported . Adoptees from Brazil, India, Mexico, Germany, and elsewhere have been returned to their countries having lived their lives as the children of U . S . citizens and thinking they were Americans.

The U . S . has deported international adoptees not only to Korea, but to Brazil, German, India, Mexico, and many others. What kind of country sends back internationally adopted people to a country where they don’t speak the language, have no family and no connections, and can never return to the U . S .?

Clay was adopted in 1983 into a Pennsylvania family and grew up in the U.S., though he never became a naturalized citizen, according to KAS. During the next 29 years, he accrued a criminal history for theft and drug-related offenses, and in 2012 a judge ordered him to be deported back to his birth country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has told NBC News.

Clay's death has revived calls by advocates for Congress to make changes to a law known as the Child Citizenship Act, which automatically grants U.S. citizenship to minor children adopted by American parents but did not apply to adoptees who were already adults by the time the law passed in February 2001.

Clay did not speak Korean, and continued to struggle with bipolar disorder as well as alcohol and substance abuse while living between various mental institutions and shelters, according to KAS.

Compton was initially curious as to why Clay's remains were not sent back to the U.S. He contacted Clay's adoptive parents to see if they would allow him to return Clay's remain to them. They accepted, according to KAS.

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Crapser remains confined in an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Washington, pending his deportation . Yoon’ s group says an estimated 35,000 intercountry adoptees lack U . S . citizenship. “He will be deported as soon as Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes the necessary

The Adoptee Rights Campaign reported today that 40-year-old Adam Crapser, adopted from Korea when he was three years old, will be deported . And they can never return to the United States.

Compton contacted the U.S. Embassy in Seoul himself to check if Clay was admissible to the U.S. — he was, Compton said. Compton noted that he has been coordinating with the embassy's American Citizen Services and KAS staff to organize Clay's homecoming.

The State Department declined to comment on the situation.

"When I picked Phillip up, I spoke to him about the Adoptee Citizenship Act and asked him whether or not he would return to the U.S. if there was a pathway," Compton said of his meeting with Clay. "He responded, 'yes, I don't really have anything to do here.'"

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