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NOP3 | This isn’t goodbye forever!! Thank you for the experience

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By Keish Kim| New Organizing Project blogger

Wow y’all…I cannot believe this is my last post with NOP.

Ahhh! I don’t know. I am personally very sad to leave the team. NOP blogging started early summer of 2012 and it was an avenue for me to document the still contentious immigration debates, to document my journey through securing my Korean identity in LA, and to document my experience as a first semester college student.

Though when things got busy and NOP kept me up till late at night, I really think that I have gotten so much more out of the experience than what I had to offer to the program. I grew as a writer and I was able to share my experiences and opinions with the readers.

And a lot has changed since my first post.

Photo credit: Jane Yoo

Many of the DACA (Deferred Action for early Childhood Arrivals) applicants I had the opportunity to help this past summer received their temporary work permits and social security numbers;  latest USCIS report show a total of 407,899 applications have been received since August 15th 2012 and 394,533 of the applicants have been granted Deferred Action. South Korean applicants are the 6th highest applicants (5,354) and 10th highest are applicants from Philippines (3,019). But the numbers are still much smaller than estimated by various immigrant rights groups.  There are many factors that may limit the number of applicants like those who may suffer from economic hardships or have criminal records (remember DUI disqualifies applicants for DACA) or the fact that many may still be afraid to even apply.

Though DACA was introduced, it is far from concrete immigration reform.  Just recently it was announced that President Obama would lay out his new immigration reform plan in Vegas on the 29th of January. (Oh and President Obama got reelected ^^) But we should keep our eyes open and keep our politicians accountable. This is only possible through community efforts. We cannot forget that this administration has deported a record amount of undocumented immigrants and ICE raids still target our communities, separating families.

Whether we are LGBTQ, college students, high school dropouts, carpenters, seamstresses, or community organizers, we deserve the equal opportunity to strive for our dreams, free from fear of deportation.

I am still undocumented. My DACA has not been approved yet (still waiting) and I still do not like being called or labeled as a DREAMer…

There is still much room for improvement and a lot of change. I think working or advocating for social change is so much more difficult and challenging than what many give credit for. But with constant support between communities I truly believe that we are a step closer to a brighter future.

And there are still many ways to support the cause!

In the LA area:

  • KRC launched the 2013 Campaign Fellow to mobilize Korean Am voters. You can apply through HERE
  • They are also looking for community supporters who can donate $5 monthly in support of on-going DACA services KRC provides. Services for DACA are provided free of charge but to keep this service KRC needs your help.

In Georgia:

  • Freedom University and undocumented students still need to lift the Ban and needs your signatures! To learn more CLICK HERE

To stay updated with various political or social topics, I strongly suggest sites like:

And if you can~ I would pick up the latest issue of Hyphen Magazine for you may see a familiar face~ *wink wink *

But for now, I guess this is goodbye~ I sincerely hope that you enjoyed our posts and saw all three of us grow as we explored our identities and communities.

You can also follow me on twitter @dakishk

Much love,

Keish

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