Bill Text: CA AJR39 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Citizenship: internationally adopted children who are now adults.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-08-14 - From committee: Be adopted. To Consent Calendar. (Ayes 8. Noes 0.) (August 14). [AJR39 Detail]

Download: California-2017-AJR39-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 08, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39


Introduced by Assembly Member Choi

April 26, 2018


Relative to citizenship.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 39, as amended, Choi. Citizenship: internationally adopted children who are now adults.
This measure would urge the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States to enact legislation securing the citizenship of internationally adopted children who are now adults.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 aimed to provide equal treatment under United States law for adopted and biological children by granting citizenship to internationally born adoptees. protect children adopted internationally by United States citizens by granting them citizenship. However, when the act became law, it did not apply to internationally born adoptees those adopted as children but who were already 18 years of age or over; over when the act passed; and
WHEREAS, As a result, an estimated tens of thousands of adult legal adoptees who were born before February 27, 1982, and raised in the United States and, in particular, California, are still undocumented and therefore potentially subject to deportation. These adoptees’ parents did not complete necessary processes to provide their adopted children with citizenship, or in many cases, even a green card; and
WHEREAS, Several deportations of individuals who were legally adopted from foreign countries have already taken place, breaking up families and returning the deported individuals to places where they were born, but have no other connections; and
WHEREAS, Adoptees who do not have citizenship have come from countries all over the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Ireland, Haiti, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. There are an estimated 18,000 Korean American adoptees alone who do not have American United States citizenship despite having been legally adopted; and
WHEREAS, Two bills that would grant have granted citizenship to adult adoptees were introduced with bipartisan support in the 114th United States Congress: the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 (S. 2275) and the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2016 (H.R. 5454). Neither bill was referred out of committee for a congressional vote; and

WHEREAS, Both bills sought to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to grant automatic citizenship to all qualifying children adopted by a United States citizen parent, regardless of the date on which the adoption was finalized. Under the bills, citizenship would be granted to any individual who was adopted by a United States citizen before 18 years of age, was physically present in the United States in the citizen parent’s legal custody pursuant to a lawful admission before the individual reached 18 years of age, never previously acquired United States citizenship, and was lawfully residing in the United States, and the bills also would have given adult adoptees who had already been deported the opportunity to return to the United States; and

WHEREAS, Under the bills, an individual would not have been issued a visa unless the individual was subjected to a criminal background check, and if the background check revealed that the individual committed a crime that was not properly resolved, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State would have been required to coordinate with relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that appropriate action was taken to resolve such criminal activity; and

WHEREAS, The 115th Congress has introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018, which seeks to close a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 that has prevented internationally adopted children, who are now adults, from receiving United States citizenship despite being raised by American parents; and
WHEREAS, The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 will alleviate much of the unnecessary pain suffered by many adopted children who have become victims of unfortunate circumstances by establishing their rightful United States citizenship. The act would grant an adoptee born outside of the United States who was adopted by a United States citizen parent automatic United States citizenship if the adoptee was adopted by a United States citizen parent before reaching the age of 18, was physically present in the United States in the legal custody of a United States citizen parent as a child, never acquired United States citizenship, and resides in the United States on the date of the enactment of the act; and
WHEREAS, Naturalization of adult adoptees who adults who were adopted as children and immigrated to America under the promise of finding a permanent home is necessary to ensure that they are not forcibly removed from what has become their home country; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature urges the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States to enact legislation securing the citizenship of internationally adopted adult individuals children who are now adults and to pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States.
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