Adam Crapser landed in South Korea on Thursday, returning to a country he had not seen since he was adopted by Americans as a 3-year-old.
But this is not a happy return to his native land, since he does not know the language or culture of South Korea. Crapser, 41, was deported from the United States because of criminal convictions, including assault and being a felon in possession of a weapon, the Chicago Tribune reported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Rose Richeson told the AP in an email that Crapser arrived in Seoul aboard a commercial airline flight escorted by ICE deportation officers.
Richeson told the Chicago Tribune that Crapser was arrested by ICE on Feb. 8 after serving a 60-day sentence for menacing constituting domestic violence and attempted coercion. He had been held in an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Washington, since then. A judge could have allowed Crapser to stay in America but decided on deportation.
Crapser had been abandoned by one set of adoptive parents and was physically abused by another couple, his Seattle attorney, Lori Walls, told The Associated Press.
No one ever sought U.S. citizenship for Crapser, the AP reported. He and his older sister were adopted by Americans in Michigan, who later abandoned them when the family moved to Oregon. The siblings then were separated and sent to live in foster and group homes.
When Crapser was 12, he was adopted by parents in Oregon who assaulted him and other children in their care, the Chicago Tribune reported. His adoptive parents were convicted of multiple crimes. Crapser eventually left the home and was arrested after he broke in to retrieve some of his belongings from his orphanage in South Korea, Walls said.
Crapser caught the attention of federal immigration authorities after he applied for a green card and they saw his criminal record.
Walls told the Chicago Tribune that she was “astonished” that the history of Crapser’s abuse “carried relatively little weight in the decision that the immigration court made.”
Crapser’s birth mother, Kwon Pil-ju, is trying to learn English so she can communicate with her son, the New York Times reported.
“I have so much to tell him, especially how sorry I am,” she told the Times. “But I am at a loss, because I don’t know English and he can’t speak Korean.”
Walls said Crapser’s mother is disabled, has a low income "and can't be much help for him."
"I spoke with Adam a couple of days ago," Walls told the Chicago Tribune. "He was trying to stay positive, but I mean it was clear talking to him that he was scared. He's going to a country where he can't even read the street signs."
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