Organization Support Template- Texas

AABA of Houston

May 7, 2018

RE: Letter of Support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018

Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of the Asian American Bar Association of Houston (AABA of Houston), I write to express the AABA of Houston’s support of the bipartisan Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 (ACA) bill, sponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono and Roy Blunt; and Congressman Adam Smith.

Since 2008, Texas has led the nation in intercountry adoptions, bringing thousands of foreign-born children into their homes. For decades these adopted children believed they were U.S. citizens. They previously received U.S. passports, voted in elections and remembered only their time as children growing up in the United States. However, due to procedural defects in their international adoption, these adopted children were later informed that they were never conferred U.S. citizenship. Many of these individuals found out for the first time when their U.S. passport renewal applications were denied.

Our members wish to see the ACA resolve 17 years of uncertainty for an estimated 35,000 adoptees brought into this country and adopted by Americans, and who remain without U.S. Citizenship even after the passage of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA).

The CCA granted automatic citizenship to some, but not all, adopted children. Today, as many as 65,000 individuals adopted between 1948 and 2016 may currently lack U.S. citizenship protection. Without U.S. Citizenship, adoptees are unable to vote and lack U.S. passports (or as mentioned above, cannot renew the U.S. passports that were already issued to them). Further, affected individuals lack benefits afforded to citizens such as financial aid, home loans, social security benefits, driver licenses and other necessities for living a basic life in the United States. Most significantly, these individuals face deportation without a retroactive cure to these procedural defects.

The AABA of Houston strongly supports the proposed Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018, which will help to resolve issues that thousands of adoptees face without their U.S. citizenship and allow them to live in the United States as the citizens they always believed they were.

We thank you for your attention and consideration of this important matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at sshin.afoster or at 832-426-0314.

Sang M. Shin

President, AABA of Houston