DACA recipient tells her story

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Shortly after President Trump terminated the DACA program March 5, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent out a press release featuring video testimonials of the human faces of the Obama-era initiative, which included former Woodside resident Angie Kim.

Schneiderman as well as 17 attorneys general across the country are suing Trump to protect people like Kim, who are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program from deportation. The so-called Dreamers were brought to the United States illegally as children.

“Immigrants are the backbone of this country,” said Kim in her testimonial. “We are Americans.”

Kim came to the United States in 1993 from South Korea when she was 9 years old because her father wanted to take care of her grandfather, a naturalized citizen who was paraplegic.

“My parents tried [to help us become citizens] before we even landed at JFK,” Kim said. “They went to a few unscrupulous lawyers, which is a very common story for immigrants.”

In Queens she met people from various backgrounds and although it took a while, her family eventually learned to speak English and later embraced the different cultures in her new community.

“Queens has a very vibrant and diverse immigrant community,” said Kim. “There was an adjustment period, but I was a happy child.”

By the time her family had a real application for them to become a citizen she was in her teens and her grandmother, who sponsored her family died in 2002, a year after they started the initial application process.

The death of Kim’s grandmother meant she was placed in a permanent backlog, which left her in limbo in terms of her status.

“It might take a certain amount of research and knowledge for the masses to understand, but the immigration system is broken,” said Kim. “The law is so outdated it doesn’t do justice to the migration flow we had in the last 20 to 30 years.”

Afterwards her parents divorced and her dad was remarried to a citizen, but when he filed for Kim and her younger brother in 2004, only her sibling was allowed to later become a citizen.

For a child to be sponsored by their parent they have to be under 21, according to Kim.

“It was just 10 days after my father started the application that I had turned 21,” Kim said. “He did not know there was an age cap for a secondary beneficiary.”

After her brother became a citizen he was able to sponsor their mother, but Kim remained an undocumented immigrant and went on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals five years ago.

Kim would later become a community engagement advocacy coordinator at the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium and has been fighting for immigrant rights ever since.

Although she knows the attorney general’s lawsuit is not a permanent solution, Kim is thankful that leaders like Schneiderman are fighting for her.

“It was just nice to have the support,” Kim said. “This is not an isolated issue. You are going to have less doctors, teachers, people serving you at restaurants and first responders. These are people you live and breathe with. What is happening is inhumane.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, March 17, 2018
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Reader feedback

Michele says:
40,000 veterans homeless, 1-4 citizens unemployed and this is the priority for the Democrats? the end all for the media. There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for. There not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college. So when you hear of the “contributions” by illegal aliens paying taxes. Remember that also is at a cost in jobs citizens should have.

Some of the costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children as has been passed on to us. We’ve been paying this for decades and illegal aliens are fine with this.

*The CBO (congressional budget office) estimates it will cost American taxpayers 26 billion over the next 10 years if 1.8 million re legalized.

*The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens.

*Currently city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

*2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

*30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

*$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches.—All can be found on google.
March 17, 1 pm
Illegalisillegal from Queens says:
Yes, IMMIGRANTS are the backbone of America,but you are here ILLEGALLY. You are NOT an immigrant! You and your family are nothing but trespassers and overstayed your visas!

How to become a citizen in south Korea :

second passport in South Korea
It is possible to become a naturalized citizen of South Korea if you maintain actual residence here. There are three paths to citizenship through naturalization, but the most typical for a foreigner is “General naturalization”.
Under this process, you must have lived in South Korea for five consecutive years and have a general knowledge of the Korean culture. Plus, you must also be able to speak at least basic Korean.

South Korean residency through the D-8 investor visa
Getting an investor’s visa for South Korea used to be easy. Not that many years ago, it was possible to come in with as little as 25 million won (US$25,000 in today’s dollars), claim to set up a business, withdraw the money, and live in South Korea indefinitely.
Eventually, the authorities wised up and increased the minimum deposit to $50,000, and then $100,000. Last year, there were rumblings it would increase significantly due to government dissatisfaction with the way people were getting South Korean visas and not contributing to the economy.
March 17, 5:08 pm
Illegalisillegal from Queens says:
Being illegal in south korea: an article from the korean herald:

The government will also revise the Employment Permit System to prevent migrant workers from illegally staying in the country after their contracts expire. Under the EPS, Korea selectively receives migrant workers from countries in Southeast Asia and Central Asia who work in labor-intensive firms.

The revised EPS will give more authority to Labor Ministry officials to report migrants who breach visa conditions. It will also ramp up screening of foreign applicants before issuing visas and accept temporary workers who can work in the country for up to 90 days in the agricultural sector. The rate of illegal residence in Korea by country of citizenship will be taken into account when the government sets country quotas for incoming workers under the EPS.
March 17, 5:12 pm
Illegalisillegal from Queens says:
ALL countries have their OWN IMMIGRANTION LAWS and they should BE FOLLOWED!
March 17, 5:21 pm
Illegalisillegal from Queens says:
The easiest way for a person to acquire Korean citizenship is by marrying a Korean or having at least one parent who is a Korean citizen. The number of people naturalizing each year increased from 232 in 2000 to 26,756 in 2009. In 2010 it dropped to 17,323, due to new restrictions on dual citizenship. Since then this number has held steady at around 17,000 per year.

March 17, 5:24 pm
yshaggy from Jamaica says:
“We are Americans.”

March 18, 10:21 pm
from the road from queens says:
She can tell her story from the road when she goes home. Enough freeloading already.
March 19, 1:21 pm

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