A Flushing Dreamer Rhodes Scholar will be attending the State of the Union Address next week with Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Jin Park, 22, the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to be awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, will be Meng’s guest at the State of the Union on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
“It is such an honor to be invited to the State of the Union by Congresswoman Meng,” said Park. “As a DACA recipient and a resident of her district in Queens, I look forward to attending the State of the Union to listen, learn, and discuss the importance of legislation to find a permanent solution for DACA recipients and all 11 million undocumented immigrants.”
Park, a recent graduate and Define American Chapter Leader who won a Rhodes Scholarship for this fall at the University of Oxford in England, is fearing that he will not be able to re-enter the US if he leaves the country to study at the school.
Park was brought to the U.S. by his parents from South Korea at the age of 7. The DACA program, which former President Barack Obama created by executive action in 2012, allowed qualified immigrants who were brought to the country as children to receive work permits and stay in the US.
In 2017, Trump ended the DACA program and since then the lives of 700,000 young people across the country have hung in limbo, according to Meng. Federal courts have blocked the president’s effort to terminate DACA and the future of the program remains unresolved.
Park’s presence at the State of the Union will show how President Trump’s cruel immigration policies are shattering the lives of DREAMers, said Meng.
“It is unconscionable that the President has put their hopes and dreams of a better future in jeopardy, and that includes Jin’s fate as well,” said Meng. “It is shameful that Jin may have to abandon this coveted opportunity for a Rhodes Scholarship, an opportunity that he worked tirelessly to achieve. I’m proud stand in solidarity with him and I will continue to fight against the divisive policies that have been hallmark of the President’s administration.”