By The Associated Press and Eagle Staff
A recent Harvard University graduate who is the first so-called Dreamer to receive a Rhodes scholarship is attending President Donald Trump's State of the Union address as a guest of a New York congresswoman.
Democratic Rep. Grace Meng says she invited Jin Park to attend Trump's address Tuesday in the hope of bringing more attention to his plight and that of thousands of other young immigrants.
“Inviting Jin Park to Washington for the State of the Union will bring more attention to his plight and show firsthand how President Trump’s un-American immigration policies are shattering the lives of DREAMers,” Meng said. “In September 2017, President Trump ended the DACA program and since then the lives of 700,000 young people across the country have hung in limbo. 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.”
“It is shameful that Jin may have to abandon this coveted opportunity for a Rhodes Scholarship, an opportunity that he worked tirelessly to achieve,” Meng said. “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.”
Park said it is “an honor” to be invited.
“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 said.
The 22-year-old Flushing resident told The Associated Press and the might not be allowed back in the country if he attends Oxford in England this fall. Park also expressed his concerns of reentry with the Eagle in November.
Park is a native of South Korea and has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, which protects him from deportation. But Trump has rescinded overseas travel benefits for DACA holders as he seeks to end the Obama-era program.