After 37 Years in U.S., South Korean Adoptee to Be Deported

A South Korean man who was adopted by an American couple and brought to the United States 37 years ago when he was just three years old, has been ordered to return to his country of origin.


Adam Crapser, 41,who is currently in custody at a detention center in Tacoma, Wash., waved an appeal at his hearing Monday—choosing deportation over continued incarceration.

"It is heartbreaking news," executive director of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, who’s in contact with Crapser, told the Associated Press.

"I'm sure he doesn't have any idea what he can do in Korea," Yoon added.

Crapser is one of an estimated 35,000 intercountry adoptees who don’t have U.S. citizenship. When he was 10, Craper was separated from his sister through the foster care system after their adopted parents abandoned them. When he was 12, he moved in with Thomas and Dolly Crapser; Adam Crapser says he was physically abused by the couple.

In 1991, the Crapsers were arrested on charges of physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape. Clearly, his troubled childhood had an affect on him. Shortly after his parents were arrested, Adam Crapser was arrested for breaking into his their home to retrieve the Korean Bible; he was later arrested for stealing cars and assaulting one of his roommates. Eventually, however he settled down and became a law-abiding citizen, settling down in Vancouver, Washington with his wife and young children.

“Most people don’t understand that I didn’t ask to come here,” he told The Guardian about his adoption. “I got placed with some idiots but I went on to live my life the best I could.”

Before 2001, foreign adoptees were not automatically granted citizenship. A bill to retroactively give them citizenship has been stalled in Congress.

Federal immigration officials became aware of Crapser’s immigration status after he applied for a green card.

Crapser's attorney, Seattle-based Lori Walls, to the Associated Press that he is eligible for "cancellation of removal,” but the judge in charge “decided he did not deserve this relief.”

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"He will be deported as soon as Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes the necessary arrangements," Walls added. "Adam, his family, and advocates are heartbroken at the outcome."

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