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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Nov. 25, 1953


TOKYO, Nov. 25, (Pac. S&S)- Cpl. Robert Elvena, the Philadelphia soldier who hit snag in his attempts to bring a young Korean orphan to Japan, today pressed American Embassy officials to have the child's immigration files transferred here from Korea.

Elvena met Monday with an American lawyer in Tokyo who advised him the only way he might get Lee Jong Churl, 12, into Japan was to have the boy's file brought here from the American Embassy in Seoul. Lee's immigration records have been on file there for more than a year.

The corporal stationed at the Yokohama Ordnance Depot, filed a request with the embassy for the records three weeks ago. So far, he claims, there has been no response from Korea.

Elvena seeks a one-year Japanese tourist visa for the boy, thus allowing him to remain in Japan until Elvena rotates in June. The soldier plans to adopt Lee when he returns home.

Elvena is optimistic that if the immigration file is received in Tokyo, the Japanese government will issue the visa. The government until now has refused to take action on the case because it has no proof the boy will continue to the U.S. with Elvena.

The proof the Japanese require is a letter from the American Embassy stating the boy is registered for U.S. immigration and will proceed to the States with Elvena next June.

Elvena believes the Embassy might write such a letter if Lee's immigration files were reviewed by officials here. He has been registered for immigration for more than a year," He said," and as Korean immigration rolls are now undersubscribed he would be allowed immediate admittance to the U.S. when I rotate."

However, the Embassy previously said it would not issue the letter until it had assigned Lee an immigration quota number. A quota number would require that the boy travel to the States within four months or lose his place on the immigration rolls. As Elvena does not rotate for seven months, he seeks to prevent the assignment of a number at this time.

Lee is now in the Aemin Orphanage in Chunchon, Korea, where he was placed when Elvena transferred to Japan last July. The soldier has been trying since then to have the child admitted to this country.



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