Adopted and Undocumented

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Adopted and Undocumented

August 12, 2018

Mauricio Oviedo Soto was 6 years old when a judge in a Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, circuit court officially recognized his adoption. With the stroke of a pen, he became Mauricio Cappelli, taking the surname of his new American father.

Nearly 32 years later, on March 12, 2018, Cappelli stepped off a commercial flight at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica, in the country of his birth. He was still processing the last 24 hours: Early that morning, officers entered his holding cell in a South Texas immigration detention center and told him he would be deported that day to his native country for the second time in his life.

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