A DACA recipient who is a Harvard senior has been awarded a coveted Rhodes scholarship.
Jin Kyu Park, 22, is originally from South Korea. His parents brought him to the U.S. when he was 7.
“I’m thankful that the Rhodes have expanded their eligibility to include DACA recipients,” Park was quoted as saying in a Harvard University news release. “But it’s important to note that I am just one of 11 million. And this really reflects the fact that if you give DACA recipients a chance, we can really contribute to this country and do amazing things. Every DACA recipient is capable of great things.”
Undocumented immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could vie for Rhodes scholarships for the first time this year.
The first Rhodes Scholars were named 116 years ago, the Queens Daily Eagle reported.
The Obama-era DACA program protects certain illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.
Courts have thwarted President Trump’s effort to phase out the program. Trump ordered DACA rolled back last year.
Oxford named Park and 31 other U.S. college students Rhodes Scholars on Nov. 17.
Park, who grew up in New York City, told WABC-TV that at Oxford he wants to build on his college and DACA experiences.
“Now I want to give back,” he told the station. “I want to come back to the United States, maybe work in a public health department to create policies for undocumented immigrants and for immigrant health.”