The young immigrant who recently made history as the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to win the prestigious Rhodes scholarship will be Rep. Grace Meng’s guest to Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech next week. “Inviting Jin Park to Washington for the State of the Union will bring more attention to his plight,” said the New York congresswoman, “and show firsthand how President Trump’s un-American immigration policies are shattering the lives of DREAMers.”
The Harvard graduate accepted the opportunity to study at England’s Oxford University despite not knowing if he’ll be able to come back home. While a judge partially reversed the Trump administration’s move ending DACA, officials have ended a provision that gave DACA recipients special permission to travel internationally in case of family emergencies, illnesses, and educational opportunities.
“It is unconscionable,” Meng said, “that the President has put their hopes and dreams of a better future in jeopardy, and that includes Jin’s fate as well.” Park has accepted the offer to go to England, saying that he knows “there’s a very real possibility that I won’t be able to come back. That’s the biggest fear for sure.” Hundreds of thousands of other DACA recipients, as well as undocumented youth without any DACA protections at all, are also living in limbo.
Despite the obstacles placed by the Trump administration, Park is determined to make sure that other immigrants like him have their chance to thrive. “It is such an honor to be invited to the State of the Union by Congresswoman Meng,” he continued. “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.”