Today, a fellow Penn State student and Korean American Adoptee (KAD) took her Oath of Citizenship in her naturalization ceremony at 52. She was adopted and came into the US in 1967. So why did it take 52 years to get her citizenship? Because we have fucked up laws regarding international adoption and citizenship. And relatively no one outside of the adoptee community really gives a shit about it. The Adopteee Citizenship Act 2019 is up for consideration FOR THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW, because it failed to get out of committee from 2015 through 2018. It is estimated that 35,000-70,000 AMERICANS are in the same situation as my friend. I had a conversation with her last week and we talked about promoting more issues like this in the blog, and I told her that I wasn't really sure how to make something so serious and disturbing funny, which is why I tended to avoid such topics. But, because this is such a momentous day and I relish a challenge, here we go:
Recently, I got a friend request from a KAD and my general policy on random friend requests from KADs is to just click accept. This is generally a dumb policy, but then again, how many of you pore over the Terms and Conditions of Usage of every website that you use? Yeah, that's what I thought. Anyway, it's my little way of trying to bring the community together. A KAD gets a free pass from scrutiny because we really need to coalesce and become a better community. However, I quickly regretted accepting this frend request because I instantly got an update from this guy. This particular KAD is...ummm....rather fanatical about 2nd Amendment rights. I thought for a moment of unfriending this guy, but I chose to unfollow him instead. I also have a decent sized group of KAD friends on social media who are very devout. And they have no hesitancy at all in declaring faith publicly and I get to see those posts as well. As a matter of fact, a huge number of KADS have put up less resistance to assimilation than Picard did to the Borg. You might not think these people are "true Americans", but I guarantee you that massive numbers of international adoptees will out-Jesus you, out-gun collect you, and out-xenophobe most of you. It's like they were raised by Larry the Cable Guy and Sarah Palin. 'Murica!
Look, most of us had no say at all about coming to the United States. Except for me! I got to have my Prince Akeem moment and tell Han Mu "We're coming to America!" But my situation is definitely not the norm, thank goodness. The vast majority of people are infants at adoption. This means that they had zero control regarding their circumstances. "Real" Americans decided that their lives would be better by taking a baby thousands of miles away and having their very own Different Strokes-spinoff. The primary determing factor for the suitability of adoptive parents seems to be the sucessful payment of adoption fees. Not many questions are asked on civic follow through, like "Do you promise to complete the naturalization process for your children?" I think we can agree that almost 70,000 people not getting their citizenship might be a reason to add that question on to the application form, probably before CVC code of the credit card used for payment, don't you think?
So why hasn't the government addressed this issue? Well, there are two reasons. One is that 70,000 is about the population of Muncie, Indiana, and honestly, anything that is associated with Muncie can't really be good for America. Especially Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield comics. There is a special place in hell waiting for him - and for you if you like Garfield, Odie, lasagne, and the name Jon. The other more serious reason is that the people effected by this don't look like "real Americans." That by the way is a euphamsim for not being white. For a brief moment, there were a lot of babies coming from Russia, but they all seemed to have fetal alcohol syndrome, so that became a less popular location. Although Ukraine is one of the top nations exporting babies to the US, and the difference between a Ukrainian mom drinking vodka during pregnancy and a Russian mom drinkining vodka is probably just the brand. But babies from Korea, Guatemala, Ethiopia, China, and India don't pass the sniff test of authenticity required to truly be considered an American. I've seen rugby mates from Wales and South Africa speaking to people here in a foreign accent and not be asked where they are from. I, on the other hand, can walk into a Brooks Brothers store looking for some more collar stays and be asked how I'm enjoying my visit to this country.
The bottom line is that we have spent almost our entire lives in the United States. Our native tongue is American English and most of us don't speak any other language than that. What is more American than being monolingual? Americans that were adopted from other countries need citizenship immediately. I think many adoptees that were naturalized tend to forget about the plight of our brothers and sistes that live in fear of deportation if they even raise the issue that they are not citizens. I think the Sane One said it best this evening when she asked what the downside was for anyone in the US if we granted automatic citizenship. What is the social cost? And I had to answer that there really wasn't any. So the Sane One said, "Well, then if you're against it, you're just basically a dick." For those of you who don't know why the Sane One rocks, I submit Exhibit This for evidence. But, it's really not a funny problem, it's a scary one and an issue that needs to be comprehensively resolved. I congratulate my friend on becoming on paper something that she has been her entire life - an American. I congratulate my friend for her tireless work with the Adoptee Rights Campaign and cannot imagine a more qualified individual to speak on the behalf of the voiceless and under-represented.
Adoptee Rights Campaign