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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: November 14, 2002 (House)]
[Page H8736-H8737]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr14no02-179]                         



 
                              SO HYUN JUN

  The Clerk called the bill (H.R. 3758) for the relief of So Hyun Jun.
  There being no objection, the Clerk read the bill as follows:

                               H.R. 3758

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. IMMEDIATE RELATIVE STATUS FOR SO HYUN JUN.

       (a) In General.--So Hyun Jun shall be classified as a child 
     under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act for purposes of approval of a relative visa petition 
     filed under section 204 of such Act by her adoptive parent 
     and the filing of an application for an immigrant visa or 
     adjustment of status.
       (b) Adjustment of Status.--If So Hyun Jun enters the United 
     States before the filing deadline specified in subsection 
     (c), she shall be considered to have entered and remained 
     lawfully and shall, if otherwise eligible, be eligible for 
     adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (c) Deadline for Application and Payment of Fees.--
     Subsections (a) and (b) shall apply only if the petition and 
     the application for issuance of an immigrant visa or the 
     application for adjustment of status are filed with 
     appropriate fees within 2 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.
       (d) Reduction of Immigrant Visa Number.--Upon the granting 
     of an immigrant visa or permanent residence to So Hyun Jun, 
     the Secretary of State shall instruct the proper officer to 
     reduce by 1, for the current or next following fiscal year, 
     the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants under 
     section 201(c)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
       (e) Denial of Preferential Immigration Treatment for 
     Certain Relatives.--The natural parents, brothers, and 
     sisters of So Hyun Jun shall not, by virtue of such 
     relationship, be accorded any right, privilege, or status 
     under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

     SEC. 2. ELIGIBILITY FOR CITIZENSHIP.

       For purposes of section 320 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, So Hyun Jun shall be considered to have 
     satisfied the requirements applicable to adopted children 
     under section 101(b)(1) of such Act.

  Mr. McCRERY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3758, a 
private bill for the relief of So Hyun Jun (So Young June). This is a 
no-cost, no-controversy bill that will provide needed relief to my 
constituents John and Ok Sun Thornton of Leesville, Louisiana who 
adopted So Hyun in 2001.
  So Hyun was born in South Korea on September 16, 1984 to Mrs. 
Thornton's sister. A car accident in 1999 left her parents incapable of 
caring for her. At that time, Mrs. Thornton and her husband were 
contacted about the possibility of taking custody of So Hyun. While 
visiting her family in Korea, Mrs. Thornton had occasion to see first-
hand the hardships suffered by her niece. The Thorntons immediately 
agreed to bring her to the United States.
  In February 2000, So Hyun arrived in Louisiana to live with her aunt 
and uncle. Mrs. Thornton traveled with So Hyun back to Korea during the 
summer of 2000 to collect her birth certificate and other important 
papers. It was during this trip that Mrs. Thornton's sister and her 
husband agreed to relinquish their parental rights, thus giving full 
custody to Mr. and Mrs. Thornton. Formal adoption proceedings were 
begun in August of 2000 and finalized in Louisiana State Court on March 
6, 2001.
  The Thorntons were careful to work with the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) to ensure that So Hyun's move to the 
United States went smoothly. Mr. Thornton contacted the INS a month 
prior to So Hyun's arrival to inquire about the procedure for bringing 
her to the United States. He was told the best method would be to bring 
her over on a tourist visa and then file the necessary forms to 
complete the adoption process. During this time, Mr. Thornton was 
misinformed three times about the correct form to complete. In January 
of 2001, Mr. Thornton once again called the INS Service Center with a 
question about the immigration forms, as So Hyun's visa was soon 
expiring. He was told that there was no need to renew the visa since 
they were adopting the child. However, upon the adoption's 
finalization, the INS Adjudication Office informed the Thorntons that 
So Hyun's visa could not be renewed, nor could she qualify for 
permanent resident status, as her adoption was not finalized by her 
sixteenth birthday. She missed that deadline by only seven months. And 
this comment from the INS was the very first mention of an age 
requirement.
  While the Immigration and Naturalization Service may not extend 
permanent resident status to Miss Jun, she is eligible for private 
relief because her adoption was begun before she turned sixteen. 
Without this relief, Miss Jun risks deportation to Korea where no one 
is legally bound to care for her. Private relief is needed to help this 
adopted girl remain in the United States with her new family.
  I want to thank Chairmen Sensenbrenner and Gekas along with Ranking 
Members John Conyers and Sheila Jackson-Lee for their assistance in 
securing passage of H.R. 3758. I hope the Senate will follow the 
House's lead today by passing this private relief bill before the end 
of the 107th Congress.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, was read 
the third time, and passed, and a motion to reconsider was laid on the 
table.

[[Page H8737]]

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This concludes the call of the Private 
Calendar.

                          ____________________





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