Like other #Americans, #adoptees are struggling for stability during #COVID19. B/c some adoptees weren’t naturalized by their US citizen parents as kids, they can’t access disability, unemployment benefits, & healthcare. #Citizenship4Adoptees Learn more👉https://t.co/wkclZ2JGEU— Adoptees For Justice (@Adoptees4Just) September 23, 2020
The News4 I-Team found tens of thousands of people who were brought to the United States when they were adopted later learned they aren’t U.S. citizens.
Imagine growing up in the United States, with American parents, only to find out decades later that you're not an American citizen. The News4 I-Team found it's happened to tens of thousands of people.
"It's frustrating and it's devastating," said Joy Kim-Alessi who, at age 25, found out she wasn't an American citizen when she applied for a passport.
Her American parents, who brought her to the U.S. as a 7-month-old baby, failed to fill out the right form, even though her adoption was legal.
"It's hard to wrap your head around that," she said. "To live your entire life believing just concrete truths about who you are ... all of that means I don't have an identity."
Kim-Alessi is in the U.S. legally, with a green card, but she's been fighting for 27 years for her citizenship. Now she's also fighting on behalf of others, like a Virginia man who asked the I-Team only to identify him as "Tom."
#Citizenship4Adoptees is a #COVID19 issue @RepKenBuck @RepMGS @RepMcClintock @RepDMP @RepGregSteube @JacksonLeeTX18 @RepArmstrongND @RepEscobar @RepLouCorrea @RepZoeLofgren @RepDLesko @RepAndyBiggsAZ @RepJayapal @RepJoeNeguse @RepSylviaGarcia #HR2731 NOW pic.twitter.com/YrjFN9MjhL— Adoptees For Justice (@Adoptees4Just) September 23, 2020