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U.S. is unjust when it deports adoptees back to India

May 29, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
Sometimes United States immigration law is completely without common sense or mercy.

A 30-year-old woman named Jennifer Haynes was adopted at age 7 from an orphanage in India by a United States couple. The family apparently neglected to finalize her American citizenship, something she was unaware of until she was arrested on a minor drug charge and eventually deported back to India in 2008. The deportation separated Haynes from her American husband and her two children, now ages 9 and 8. Now she's begging India to intercede and help her return to the United States.

The same thing is likely to happen to Kairi Shepherd, 27, another woman who was adopted from India as a young child. Shepherd's adoptive mother also failed to get her American citizenship and the government has ruled that she's living in the country illegally. Shepherd has multiple sclerosis and will likely not get adequate medical care in India.

The U.S. Congress passed a law granting children adopted internationally automatic U.S. citizenship, but both Haynes and Shepherd were too old to benefit from the law.

I've often thought it is equally unjust to deport children who were brought here illegally by their parents as young kids and who grew up as Americans. What kind of country are we to do this to people who are citizens in everything but name? What was done to Haynes -- and to her American children -- seems obscene.


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