Hours ago, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump confirmed weeks of political gossip with his announcement that he had chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his general election running-mate.
I’ve already written at length about why Donald Trump’s fear-mongering and race-baiting has exacerbated this country’s hostility towards people of colour, and how his rhetoric will ultimately prove damaging for the Republican Party. In the meanwhile, however, people of colour will have to find a way to survive a general election that has popularized derogatory and racist remarks — and open assault — towards non-White people. Today’s decision is by Trump is only more bad news, particularly for AAPI immigrants, women and LGBT individuals and other immigrants, LGBT folks, and other women of colour.
Last week, I wrote about Adam Crapser, an adult Korean American adoptee who as a child survived years of incredible physical, sexual, and emotional abuse committed by two separate foster families. As a lasting part of their abuse, neither set of foster parents completed Adam’s naturalization paperwork or have been willing to give him his adoption papers.
Consequently, for his entire adult life, Adam Crapser — now married with three children — has been forced to live as an undocumented American. On April 2nd, he faces a deportation hearing with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE plans to deport Crapser — a Korean American adoptee — to Korea, the country of his birth but to which he has no ties.
Outraged, many readers have been asking what they can do to help Adam stay in America and receive documentation.
I’ve got great news: a social media campaign has now been launched to try and #KeepAdamHome.
Last week, I wrote about Nan-Hui Jo’s case. A survivor of years of domestic violence at the hands of her former partner which included both physical and emotional abuse, Nan-Hui Jo escaped with her daughter Hwi to South Korea after her American work visa expired. After six years, Jo applied for a travel visa to allow her American-born child travel to the United States to tour schools while Jo’s own permanent resident application was pending.
However, Jo’s former partner, Jesse Charlton, had filed child abduction charges against Jo, and when Jo arrived in America, she was arrested. After her first trial ended in a hung jury, Jo was retried last month with additional threats of deportation added by ICE while Jo’s former partner was awarded full custody of their child.
By his own admission, Adam Thomas Crapser has had a difficult journey; but through it all, he has worked hard to create what he calls a “a semblance of a ‘normal’ life”.
In 1979, Adam arrived in the United States with his older sister as a transnational and transracial Korean American adoptee. Through most of his childhood — and through two placements — Adam was forced to endure unspeakable physical and emotional abuse. In 1991, Adam’s adoptive parents, Thomas Francis Crapser and Dolly-Jean Crapser, were arrested, charged and ultimately plead guilty to multiple counts of child rape, child sex abuse, and child abuse. Adam is a survivor of the Crapsers’ violence.
Adam’s life bears the scars of that torture and what it took to survive; but, Adam has emerged today as a married father of three, with a fourth child due in May. He is, by all accounts, living that “normal” American life.
Yet, that’s not how the federal government sees it. In January of this year, the Department of Homeland Security served Adam with deportation papers. In just one month, Adam will face a hearing regarding deportation to a country he has never known.
In a speech — less than 20 minutes long and snubbed by the country’s major cable networks — President Barack Obama made history (again).
In 2008, Obama promised constituents comprehensive immigration reform within his first term, but a combination of Republican obstructionism and a prioritization of other issues (like healthcare reform) led to the tabling of the issue. By Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, immigration activists were frustrated and alarmed, Obama’s inaction coupled with his administration’s record high rate of returns and removals led to many on the Progressive Left to start labeling him the “Deporter-In-Chief”. A multiracial coalition of activists including prominent AAPI civil rights organizations and undocumented immigrants such as Jose Antonio Vargas and Ju Hong lobbied tirelessly to pressure Obama and the Left to address immigration reform before 2016. They held the rest of us accountable by refusing to allow the fight for comprehensive immigration reform to leave the spotlight.
Last night, these activists should be taking a victory lap, because last night President Obama took the first step towards that promise of comprehensive immigration reform. And, while it is a small step with many caveats, it’s a necessary one.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!