If you are connected with me on Facebook at all, you’ve seen my outrage at immigration officials over the despicable treatment of Adam Crapser, the Korean adoptee whose abusive adoptive parents failed to file for his U.S. citizenship. Adam, now 40 and married with children, is facing deportation to South Korea.
This is outrageously and unequivocally wrong.
Adam Crapser is a victim, and should not be held responsible for the wrongful actions of two different sets of adoptive parents while he was still a minor.
Adam’s story is long and tragic, full of horrific abuse and injustice. Left at an orphanage in South Korea at age three, Adam’s first set of adoptive parents surrendered him to the state of Oregon after years of abusing him. His second set of adoptive parents “choked, beat and burned Adam; the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of Adam and his foster siblings was so severe the Crapsers served jail time for 11 counts of child abuse.”  While Adam was sixteen, drifting in and out of homeless shelters in Oregon, he returned to the Crapser’s home to retrieve his Korean Bible and a pair of rubber shoes he’d worn at the orphanage. The court considered this burglary, and Adam was sentenced to twenty-five months in prison. 
The Crapser parents withheld the adoption paperwork and documentation rightfully belonging to Adam, something that’s not uncommon in abusive situations. In 2012, Adam finally obtained his own adoption documents from the Crapsers and began the process of filing for a green card, in an attempt to straighten out his legal status.
But his initiative was not taken kindly by immigration officials.
To the Department of Homeland Security and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, it does not matter that Adam was a victim of abusive parents who failed to ever file the paperwork necessary for him to become a naturalized citizen. Immigration officials do not care that Adam was already a legal adult by the time the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 automatically enacted automatic naturalization for adopted children under the age of eighteen. They do not care that Adam took it upon himself to file for legal status, something his parents never had.
To immigration officials, Adam Crapser is a simply an illegal immigrant non-citizen with a criminal record, and they can’t wait to get him out of this country.
On February 8th 2016, he was taken away from his wife and children by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and placed him in the Tacoma Detention Center, where he waits to find out if he’ll be deported to South Korea.
I want to say the threat of deportation is unfounded.
I want to say it’s unlikely that he’ll be deported.
I want to say Adam Crapser’s case is an anomaly, an aberration.
But the truth is, adoptees have been deported before. [3, 4] Thanks to immigration reform in 1996, any adoptee whose parents failed to file for citizenship is view as a non-citizen immigrant, and if a run-in with the law results in a prison sentence — even for non-violent crimes — they’re subject to deportation. (Remember Adam’s twenty-five month prison sentence for burglary, a.k.a. retrieving his Korean Bible and shoes from his parents’ home?)
Kairi Abha Shepherd’s adoptive mother died, never having filed for her to become a naturalized citizen. Kairi was deported to India. 
John Gaul III’s adoptive parents also didn’t file in time. John was deported to Thailand, and can never enter the US again. 
Rudi Richardson was born in a German prison. His birth father was a U.S. serviceman. He was adopted into an American family, but they never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen. Rudi even served in the U.S. military, but age forty-seven, he was deported to Germany. 
Monte Haines a.k.a Ho-kyu Han served in the U.S. military, too. But his adoptive parents never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen either, and he was deported to South Korea. 
These are all complex cases — and sadly, there are so many more. But they all have one thing in common: irresponsible adoptive parents who failed to file the paperwork necessary for their children to obtain U.S. citizenship. Over 18,000 adoptees from South Korea alone still aren’t U.S. Citizens.
These children are victims, not perpetrators.
And in the case of Adam Crapser, he has been a victim many times over. Not only did his adoptive parents — both sets! — neglect to file for citizenship, they also horrifically abused him. And now the United States, the only country whose language he knows, is ready to boot him out forever, separating him from his wife and children. Won’t you join me in standing up to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and let them know you STAND WITH ADAM?
Demand that Adam Crapser be removed from deportation proceedings.
Demand that “Adam and all international adoptees adopted by U.S. citizens should be granted U.S. citizenship immediately.”
We can’t sit back and do nothing as Adam’s human rights are violated. We can’t do nothing as his family is torn apart. This is no time for apathy as immigration officials life is destroyed even more.
This is happening on our watch, and we must act.
For more information on the Adoptee Rights Campaign organized by the NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), click here.