The Short of it:
Support the Adoptee Citizenship Act and check out these organizations to help support immigrant rights in the US:
The beaming beacon of the Statue of Liberty is the picture in our history books of the United States being a refuge for all sorts of immigrants, including adoptees. However, it’s only since 2001, was an adoptee automatically naturalized as a citizen. Those born before 2001 and brought to this country were not automatically naturalized and thus required their adopted parents to wade through the bureaucratic mess of immigration requirements. Most parents did so, but some didn’t for countless reasons leaving the adoptee in, as legal scholar DeLeith Duke Gossett describes, “a ‘legal limbo,’ living in the country, but not as a citizen, and unable to secure a green card to work, acquire a driver’s license, obtain a passport to travel outside of the country, or register to vote.”
However, this isn’t just a limbo of inconvenience. With the expansion of anti-immigration legislation that has grown the definition of “aggravated felony” to include both violent and minor nonviolent state misdemeanors (think shoplifting, failing to appear in court, graffiti), adoptees are subject to deportation as noncitizen immigrants. These people, brought from abroad and living American lives, can be suddenly deported and sent to their countries of origin where they know no one and don’t speak the language, and often end up with terrible outcomes.
The narrator of The All-American is subject to this kind of deportation. While he wasn’t brought to the US through an adoption service, he is abandoned to a step-mom in rural Washington State and is later deported through similar mechanisms that occur in real life. These sorts of deportations are absurd, and if you’re reading this, I imagine that you agree.
You likely think that these people are Americans and should be treated as such even if their parents neglected to get them naturalized and because there’s no clear way for them to become naturalized as adults living in America with the specter of deportation haunting around each corner. You also likely believe that those “law and order” politicians, those members of the monster mash, that collection of personality defects resembling the supporting cast to medieval cautionary tales, are wrong for wanting to deal with American crime by exporting it like type 2 diabetes.
Many agree with you and have worked to do something about it.
Ultimately, I imagine you want to know what you can do about it. That, unfortunately, is not where my skills reside.
But these following groups do have the skills to help make this happen. Connect with them with an open heart, with whatever support you can give to help lobby, fund, and help our fellow Americans.