Halley Cody


This Note addresses how the U.S. should rectify the harms it has perpetrated on non-citizen adoptees by amending the current deportation statutes to prevent their deportation. Part I addresses the history of adoption in the U.S. and related effects on immigration law. Part II highlights the stories of Adam Crapser and Philip Clay, who were adopted by American families who failed to naturalize them as minors, and who were subsequently deported after they sustained criminal records. Part III examines the policy goals behind deportation as a consequence of criminal convictions, as well as remedies instituted to prevent unwarranted deportation and why those remedies have failed non-citizen adoptees.

Finally, Part IV proposes that because it is unlikely there are any other remedies available to adoptees as discussed in Part III, Congress must amend the Immigration and Naturalization Act itself to expressly except adoptees without citizenship from being deported as a penalty incident to a criminal conviction as well as provide a pathway back for those who have already been deported. This Note concludes with the acknowledgment that adoptees who have already been deported are still suffering the unbearable effects of an unjust decision and have no current legal pathway back to the U.S. In spite of the discriminatory line Congress has drawn in granting automatic citizenship to only some adoptees, Congress must compensate for this failure by protecting those adoptees who are still vulnerable to deportation and bring adoptees who have already been deported back to the U.S.

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