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.