1. Harvard University student Jin Park walking out of campus building
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jin Park, Rhodes Scholar:
"I think it's time that the government has recognized that undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients have a lot to contribute and that if we were given the opportunity, for example in my case, to leave to go to Oxford and to think about some of these questions and come back we would able we'd be able to serve the country in a lot of meaningful ways. And so I kind of wanna push the envelope on that."
THE HARVARD CRIMSON
Internet - Recent (story published 19 November 2018)
3. Screen shot of a Harvard Crimson's online story on Jin Park being the first Rhodes scholarship winner covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that shields certain young immigrants from deportation
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jin Park, Rhodes Scholar:
"If I leave there's a very real possibility that I won't be able to come back is probably that the biggest thing that I'm thinking about. Yeah. So that's the biggest fear."
5. Various Jin Park walking on campus
6. Park's Rhodes scholar announcement
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jin Park, Rhodes Scholar:
"Of course it is a moment for me to celebrate my life, my parents sacrifices and all of the institutions and people that have made this possible for me. So it is definitely a moment of celebration, but I think that, you know, that question of why it is that there is also a sense of kind of an impending negative thing in the air is because that's just the reality of undocumented immigrants in America. So there's a famous kind of joke that we tell each other that undocumented immigrants, particularly DACA recipients, have to plan their lives in two-year increments because that's the length of DACA. And so there is always this impending, right, sense of 'at some point the bottom is gonna fall out.'"
8. Jin Park on campus
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jin Park, Rhodes Scholar:
"I know that this is my home. Like, I know when I think of where is home, for me, I think of Queens. Queens, New York. And so whatever happens I'm always gonna know that fact. And so even if I have to spend the rest of my life convincing, right, the administration or whoever it is that comes next that this is home, I mean, I'll do that."
A Harvard student who became the first "Dreamer" to receive a Rhodes scholarship in November says the joy of the achievement has given way to uncertainty.
Jin Park is originally from South Korea and now lives in New York City. But the twenty-two-year-old risks not being allowed back into the U.S. if he enrolls at the University of Oxford in England later this year.
The Trump Administration rescinded the option for overseas travel for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, like Park, as it moved to wind down an Obama-era program in 2017.
But travel abroad, which was allowed under limited circumstances such as academic study during the Obama administration, should still be permitted because the federal courts have upheld the program for now, argue Park and his supporters.
Park, whose parents came to the U.S. from South Korea and work in what he calls "manual labor", says the joy of receiving such a prestigious honor comes with a lot of uncertainty.
President Donald Trump has pushed to end the Obama-era program that shields certain young immigrants from deportation, including Park.
But the federal courts, for now, have blocked Trump from immediately ending the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, or DACA.
Still, last year Trump's administration eliminated a process that allowed beneficiaries of the program to travel overseas under special circumstances like academic study.
Define American, an immigrant advocacy organization that supported Park in his bid for the Rhodes scholarship, argues a court ruling that the decision to end DACA was arbitrary and capricious is reason enough for the administration to honor the prior travel policy.
DACA recipients, commonly called "Dreamers" because of never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act, are protected from deportation because they were brought into the country illegally at a young age.
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, which administers DACA, didn't comment.
Park could turn down the scholarship but has decided against that route. He wants to continue to be a voice in the immigration debate and believes the benefits of going to Oxford outweigh the risks.
Park says despite what the future holds he knows one thing for sure.
"I know that this is my home. Like, I know when I think of where is home, for me, I think of Queens. Queens, New York. And so whatever happens I'm always gonna know that fact," said Park.
Government programs , Government and politics , Immigration , Social issues , Social affairs , Higher education , Education , European mass migration crisis , Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program