Monte was born in 1970 in South Korea and was sent for adoption to a family in Iowa in 1978 through Holt International on an IR-4 visa. His adoption was never finalized, and then Monte was again relinquished. He bounced around between several foster homes before he was legally adopted by his parents in 1981.
Although he served in the U.S. military from ‘93-’96, he was arrested on charges of transporting drugs - which he believes was set up by his truck driving partner - and subsequently served three years in a county jail and prison. Following this, he was detained and spent two years in a detention center.
In 2009, he was deported to South Korea, a country where he had no familiarity with the language or culture. Upon arrival, Monte was given the equivalent of $20 and sent on his way from the airport. His failed attempt to find a church of his mother’s friend resulted in a month long period of homelessness in the wintertime. Today, he struggles to find decent, safe work. Previously, he has worked jobs that require him to work 12-14 hours per day, 7 days a week and has suffered serious occupational injuries.
According to Monte, his adoptive parents already believed he was naturalized. His family was never contacted by the US Government to ensure his adoption was finalized, which included completion of the naturalization process. His adoption agency also failed to ensure that he was naturalized.
Monte still has his mother, friends, and community living in the United States. Unless the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 is amended, he is permanently barred from reentering the United States. He says, “I would love to go back and go in front of Congress and explain about what needs to be changed.”