A South Korean man flown to the US 37 years ago and adopted by an American couple at age 3 has been ordered deported back to a country that is completely alien to him, the AP reports. Adam Crapser is currently confined in an immigration detention center in Washington state pending his deportation. He waived an appeal during a hearing Monday because he is so desperate to get out of detention that he was even willing to go to a country where he does not speak the language or know the culture. Crapser's plight mirrors those of thousands of others who were brought to the US but whose adoptive parents didn't secure green cards or US citizenship for them. One group estimates 35,000 intercountry adoptees lack US citizenship.
Seven years after Crapser and his older sister were adopted, their parents abandoned them. The foster care system separated Crapser, 10 at the time, from his sister. When Crapser was 12, he moved in with Thomas and Dolly Crapser, their biological son, two other adoptees and several foster children. There, he was physically abused, Crapser has said. In 1991, the couple was arrested on charges of physical child abuse, sexual abuse, and rape. Federal immigration officials say they became aware of Crapser after he applied to renew his green card two years ago: his criminal convictions, ranging from burglary to assault, made him potentially deportable under immigration law. Crapser got into trouble with the law after he broke into his parents' home—it was, he said, to retrieve the Korean Bible and rubber shoes that came with him from the orphanage—and later it was for stealing cars and assaulting a roommate. (Read more deportation stories.)