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The laws on immigration and foreign adoptions are complicated, said Heidi Cox, executive vice president and general counsel for the Gladney Center in Fort Hermes Belt Aaaa
you are the parent, but not that the child is a citizen," she said. "The adoption decree does not establish citizenship (but only) the legal parent child relationship."
McMillan and her mother have spent countless hours writing to politicians and whoever else they think might help with Whiteley's case. They hope that Congress will enact the Foreign Adopted Children's Equality Act, which would recognize that internationally adopted children of American citizens deserve to be treated as children of American citizens, not as immigrants.
Worth, which has provided foreign and domestic adoption services for more than 100 years.
The Whiteleys, who had six children, moved to Lufkin in 1984.
McMillan, who also was born in Mexico and was adopted as an infant by the Whiteleys, recalls her little brother as most big sisters would: a boy who bothered and teased her. But she looked after him.
Adopted and Deported
"They did what they were told, but it wasn't what they needed," said Lopez, who meets weekly with his client in Mexico. He is working on an appeal on Whiteley's behalf.
Lopez said Whiteley's parents received bad advice and did not pursue citizenship for him.
The act would apply the same citizenship process to adopted children as that accorded to children born abroad to American citizens, according to the advocacy group Equality for Adopted Children.
When the time came for his release from prison in 2002, he fell down the immigration rabbit hole.
"I always felt very protective of Robin," McMillan said. "He was like my own baby doll. I took care of my little brother."
and if caught working illegally, he would be deported. "But to where? I'd have an issue in any country," he said.
McMillan, 43, was 8 when her parents brought home the baby they named Robin. Now, because of missteps the parents made in the complicated international adoption process and bad decisions on his own part, Whiteley, 35, has been deported to Mexico.
As he grew up, Whiteley was athletic and into boxing in Lufkin, she said. "He was just your normal, crazy kid and a typical teen."
He can't work in Mexico because he doesn't have proper documents, Hermes Belt White Stitching
"My parents send me money every week to help me try and survive," Whiteley said.
"He is not an undocumented immigrant," McMillan said. "He did not falsify any documents. He didn't sneak over here. He is an American."
In 1974, a midwife in El Paso placed a day old baby in the arms of Lora and Royce Whiteley of Fort Worth. Six years later, while living in Woodville, they officially adopted Robin.
Neither the United States nor Mexico has a record of his birth, said his lawyer, Andres Lopez of McAllen. And his parents had pursued legal residency for him but not citizenship.
Lacking both a birth certificate and naturalization papers, Whiteley, who doesn't speak Spanish, was deported to Mexico on the assumption that it was his country of origin, Lopez said. He now lives as an undocumented immigrant in a one room cinderblock apartment in Reynosa, Mexico. twice to see his children, which has not helped his case. He has vowed that the next time he comes back, it will be as a citizen.
player, a hot plate to warm food, and an American cell phone so he can talk to his family. He bathes with cold water out of a 5 gallon bucket, the same one he uses to hand wash his clothes. He goes to a local store to use the restroom, he said.
But even Whiteley admits that he made bad decisions.
Whiteley spends his days in his one room apartment in Reynosa, about 11 miles from McAllen, where he knew no one before he arrived. He has a bed, a television, a DVD
State criminal records show that he had some misdemeanor convictions, and he went to state prison for a felony drug conviction.
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McMillan, a mother of two, was a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock when her parents took her to Houston so she could take the citizenship oath.
Whiteley's wife and children have moved from Lufkin to Mission in the Rio Grande Valley to be close enough to cross over and visit their husband and father.
"We have been back and forth with immigration over the adoption," Lora Whiteley, 74, said by phone from Lufkin. Each time progress was made on getting proper documentation for Whiteley, the immigration Gucci Belt Double G Buckle laws changed, she said.
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