My reporter friend Fred contacted me the other week to let me know that the memoir was referenced in a Stars and Stripes article. The story is about Don Yi, a 1.5-generation* Korean-American from Ohio who served in the US Army and came to Korea to attend the funeral of his father only to be barred from leaving the country. Here’s the article.
I wasn’t surprised by the details of the case—an almost identical story was in the newspaper around the same time I was sent—but I did find it curious that this is still happening, fifteen years later. Anyway, the lesson is that the Korean government is not going to change its ways so even if you have American citizenship, if you were born in Korea, check that shit before you come.
Today is supposed to be the day that he is able to return to the States. Let’s hope that things worked out.
* 1st-generation are the immigrants who come and gain citizenship, 2nd-generation are the children of immigrants, and 1.5-generation is often used to refer to the young children who immigrate with their parents at an early age, like Don Yi.