S2275: Good news for international adoptees in the US–but let’s read the bill first

Deportation-ICEOn November 10 Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) (with co sponsors Dan Coats, and Jeff Merkley)  introduced S 2275 “a bill to provide for automatic acquisition of United States citizenship for certain internationally adopted individuals and for other purposes.”

Known popularly as the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015, the bill reportedly will close the gap left by the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2000, which left thousands of older cross-country adoptees in the US without the  protection of US citizenship (and newer ones with) because adoption agencies, adoptive parents and even INS/ICE in the past failed to comply or follow-through with US law when these adoption were finalized. S2275 will automatically grant US citizenship to all IA’s upon finalization, and their new families will not be required  to apply for naturalization for their internationally adopted children.

Despite the myth of the “forever family,” currently older  international adoptees are subject to deportation to their countries of origin  for any reason the national security state deems appropriate. Jao Herbert, adopted as child from Brazil and reared in Wadswrotoh, Ohio, near Akron, for instance, was deported after he was convicted of a misdemeanor pot charge . Federal law left the judge no wiggle room. He was subsequently murdered outside his home in Campinas. Like other adoptee deportees he had no familial ties, or cultural and language skills left over from his country of origin. Strangers in a strange land.

According to reports, S2275

  • Provides retroactive citizenship to all international adoptees, regardless of when they were adopted.
  • Provides a “clear pathway” for adoptees who were deported to return to the U.S.–including adoptees who may have committed crimes if they’ve served their time or resolved their criminal histories.

This is great news, of course, something I’ve hoped for for years. My first inclination was to urge people (as many are) to contact their Senators and other officials to support the bill. I mighte even sign one of those dreaded internet petitions.  But then I stopped dead.

Where is the bill?  Maybe individuals closer to the sponsors have seen it, but as of this writing it is not in the public record.  The text is not posted on the official Congress.gov webpage.  The bill itself is noted as introduced, as is its progress (twice read and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary), but there is neither summary nor text posted.  Instead we get:

As of 11/14/2015 text has not been received for S.2275 – A bill to provide for automatic acquisition of United States citizenship for certain internationally adopted individuals, and for other purposes.

Bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress from GPO, the Government Publishing Office, a day or two after they are introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. Delays can occur when there are a large number of bills to prepare or when a very large bill has to be printed.

Many of my acquaintances in AdoptionLand are urging support.  I’m willing to believe that the bill is just as proponents claim, but I want to read it first. I”m leery of playing “telephone” with adoptees’ lives. If S2275 is what it says it is, then I’m behind if 100%.  But until I can read the bill, I’m withholding support.

We’ve been mislead before by premature heralding of bills which turn out to be different than what supporters claim such as with Texas HB984 earlier this year. Legislative language is fraught with misinterpretation.

Know what you are supporting before you support it.  I sure hope everybody is right this time.

For more information on adoptee deportation go to Pound Puppy Legacy and key in “deported adoptees.”




2 Replies to “S2275: Good news for international adoptees in the US–but let’s read the bill first”

  1. Hello,
    Im happy for this bill and what it stands for but I disagree that this bill is just for the adopted. This bill is flawed and leaves 1000’s in limbo. What about those who were not adopted but could have benefited from the Child Citizenship Act being retroactive. There are 1000’s of people out there who were already over the age of 18 when the CCA went into effect and should have been made automatic citizens when the the law went into effect. If your going to amend the act dont give preference to those adopted but work to make the entire Act retroactive. There are 1000’s of people whose 1 parent was a citizen and they qualified for citizenship status under the Act but were aged out. Both adopted and non adopted kids who were either in immigrants status or work permit status. They should fix the entire Act to effect all who the act addresses not just the adopted. Why fix part of it when you will leave 1000’s of other people in a different category pretty much stateless as well. Thanks

    • I am agree with you Daniel. They should amend Child Citizenship Act of 2000 INA 320 and 322. For children of US citizens not just for adopted persons. Like Landrieu 1222 amendment…

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