Lost Children of Vietnam War Seek Their Place

Amerasians, shunted aside in both cultures, want citizenship
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2008 1:13 PM CDT
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has sponsored a citizenship bill for Amerasians, hoping to make the process easier for those who never had access to schooling and don't speak English.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Some American servicemen left children behind when they came home from Vietnam and Korea, and those Amerasians, now in their 30s and 40s, are stuck between two cultures that don't fully accept them. "I am not a refugee, but I am being treated as one," says a member of a group that recently visited Capitol Hill to call attention to pending legislation that would grant them US citizenship. The LA Times went along.

The mothers of many Amerasians, shunned for fraternizing with American, left their children in orphanages. Those who have made it to the US are often illiterate and don't speak English, and the legislation that allowed them to immigrate doesn't offer automatic citizenship. It's stalled now, but its sponsor, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, has vowed to reintroduce it.