March 5, 2021
Sam Yu, Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.703.0992
Michelle Liang, Policy Manager email@example.com
NAKASEC Network’s Statement on the Adoptee Citizenship Act
Chicago, IL – Chicago, IL – Yesterday, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-9) and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT-3) introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 (H.R. 1593) into the U.S. House of Representatives, which would grant automatic citizenship to individuals who were adopted into the United States as children by U.S. citizen parents. There are thousands of intercountry adoptees who are living without citizenship due to a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, and an estimated 19,000 Korean American adoptees alone whose U.S. citizenship has not been confirmed. . The movement of this bill, a step to ensure that all intercountry adoptees have U.S. citizenship and that no adoptee is left behind, is a testament to the outreach and organizing of adoptee and immigrant justice movements.
Becky Belcore, NAKASEC Executive Director and intercountry adoptee, expressed:
“Many adoptees who do not have citizenship are essentially stateless- facing the inability to obtain a driver’s license or work legally, and are being deported to countries where they do not know the language or culture, have no known family and great difficulties in surviving. The deportation of adoptees underscores just how broken the American immigration system is.”
We are truly excited about the opportunity for passage of this bill in the 117th Congress. Last year, in the 116th Congress, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 garnered support from an unprecedented bi-partisan group of 96 U.S. House Representatives. Furthermore, multiple statements about the situation of adoptees without citizenship were included in the record of the “Immigrants as Essential Workers” hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration & Citizenship. Given the past and current momentum of this bill and the unique political window in which we are living, we urge Congress to do everything in its power to enact this legislation into law as soon as possible.
NAKASEC’s mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, racial and economic justice. The NAKASEC Network includes HANA Center (Illinois), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), NAKASEC VA (Virginia), MinKwon Center (New York), Korean Resource Center (California) and the Korean American Voters League (Texas).