a story of when immigration gets personal

Hockey Fan? Perhaps check this out.

Hello Readers! I could use your help, if you would be willing. For my class final I am to analyze one of my classmate’s blog. Jesse’s blog is titled, “Northland College Men’s Hockey”, and aims to provide regular updates to friends, family, faculty, alumni and current students so they can stay connected to the team.

jesse's blog home page
Click here to see Jesse’s blog!

The questions my professor asked me to respond to are in bold. Do you agree with my assessment? Check out his blog for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments!

What is your neighbor’s blog about? This blog focuses on the Northland College Men’s Hockey Team. The blog aims to not only keep up with games and the overall progress of the season, but also to inform the reader of what happens before game-time. Jesse does this by writing about preseason preparation, practices, and player profiles.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that explains  more about the daily routine of a Northland College men’s hockey player. Maybe a bit dramatic, but  hey, it’s fun.

How do you describe the style or approach of the blog? The blog uses a simple and conversational writing style, which makes it easy to readers to follow.  Sometimes it almost feels more like Jesse is talking to you. Jesse incorporates engaging and action-oriented adjectives into his writing, which paint a more vivid image in the reader’s minds. Jess also uses adjectives to make what could be seen as ordinary facts interesting, which will be explained below.

What are the overall strengths of the blog? A strength of the blog is that it is written by an insider. Jesse, the author of the blog, is also a member of the men’s hockey team, giving him direct access to players, practices, team travel, and all sorts of other “behind the scenes” happenings that most do not have the opportunity to be part of. Another strength is Jesse’s word choice. His sentences help convey information in a subtle way to readers.  Consider the following excerpt from his blog, Northland made the 13 hour trip to Adrian but were unable to pull off the upset against Adrian and dropped both games to the Bulldogs.From Jesse’s word choice in this sentence we learn that the game took place far way (“13 hour trip”), Adrian must be a high ranked team (“upset”), the team lost (“dropped”), and that the mascot was the Bulldogs (“Bulldogs”). Jesse could have just said “The team played against Adrian and lost”, but his word choice gave the reader much more detail and information, along with a more interesting sentence to read.

How does it appear to the audience? The blog may come off as a big “sportsy” to readers, which I will explain more in “suggestions” section.Almost all images are of hockey players. The blog also appears very clean with minimal visual clutter.

jesse hockey pic
A picture from Jesse’s blog.

What are two key pieces of information you learned from reading the blog? I never knew that Northland College had a Men’s  hockey alumni weekend, but Jesse gave me all the details in his blog. Another key piece of information was that Wyatt Garagan’s favorite food is chicken and pasta. Why is this a key piece of information? Because it is a personal detail that isn’t directly to Wyatt being a hockey player. It is something I never would have learned from attending games, reading news articles, or looking at the game programs. Aside from actually talking to Wyatt or his friends, there really isn’t a way for me to find this out other than reading Jesse’s blog.

What were your two favorite blog posts? Why?

“5 Things to Bring to the Hockey Games” – This post was easy to skim/read, and would have been helpful to me four years ago when I first started at Northland College. I had not been a hockey game in my life before, and knowing what to expect would have been good. Fortunately my friends told me to dress warm!

“Meet Wyatt Garagan” – Like I said above, it is information I can’t really get from many other places.

What suggestions do you have for your neighbor about her/his blog?

The blog is very hockey-focused, which makes sense as the blog is about the hockey team.  However, I think the blog could be enhanced by adding much more information about the players outside of the realm of hockey. Talking about these students as hockey players, while important,  is expected. Talking about them as individuals outside of the team is unexpected and intriguing. For example, what are their hobbies, their majors, aspirations post-college?  There was one post about a specific player that did start reveal more, but I would suggest going even further.

Similarly, much of the imagery on the site is of the hockey players in uniforms. I would suggest having more photos of the players in “street clothes” and just around the college campus – off the ice. It is difficult to tell “who is who” when the players are suited up, and it feels less personal. Images of the players outside of the hockey context would help illustrate the depth of each player as an individual and could help dispel the thought that “hockey players only care about hockey” (as opposed to academics, other hobbies, social issues, etc.).

What were your neighbor’s two most effective Tweets? Why?

jesse tweet 1jesse tweet 2

The tweet on the left gathers opinions from the “crowd” which can be valuable information that isn’t something you can just “google” to find. The other tweet alerts readers to something happening right at that moment that may be of interest to them.


Policies of the 2016 Presidential Election


2016 USA presidential election poster. EPS 10

What issues are you most concerned about in the upcoming 2016 presidential election? The economy, climate change, healthcare? I am sure it comes as no surprise that immigration is among my key interests in this election.

As such, I thought I would use this post to quickly review current presidential front-runners’ views on immigration. What are they saying about immigration? How could that impact Young and me?

Here is quickly summary of top candidates’ (according to MSNBC polls) policy ideas. There is more I could say about each one, but I will try to limit my review to how the policy relates to Young and me.  To try to keep things as “fair” as possible, I am only using information that the candidates supplied on their own campaign websites.

trump 1Donald Trump – He is probably most known for his plan to have Mexico pay for a wall to be built between Mexico and the U.S. This would do nothing for Young and me or for the millions of other undocumented immigrants that are already here. His other ideas include penalties for visa overstays. As a child, Young came to the U.S. with a visa and then his visa expired. Would Young be penalized for a decision he did not make? If he was not penalized, what about his other family members? Would they be separated? From my perspective, Donald Trump’s ideas, at minimum, do not adequately consider immigrant children and others who did not make a decision to come here, or made a decision as a child, and now call the U.S. home.

ben carson 1Ben Carson – He does not mention immigration in the “key issues” section on his website and I could not find it anywhere else on the website. This does not sound good for Young and me.


hillary clintonHillary Clinton – She is most interested in full immigration reform legislation with a pathway to citizenship. Because Young had a Visa when his family crossed the border, there is already a pathway to citizenship for Young through marriage. But what about the other members of his family? A pathway to citizenship would allow Young’s family, and others like his, to stay together.  Also, if he would not have had that Visa, after our marriage he would have had to return to South Korea for 10 years before he could apply for permanent residency in the U.S. according to current immigration policy. This is the reality for many others. Hillary has also said she will continue to support DACA. This is the program that allows Young to legally work in the U.S. now and protects him from deportation. (See my “DACA: It’s a Big Deal” post for more about DACA).

bernie-sanders 1Bernie Sanders – With respect to impacts for Young and me, some of Bernie’s ideas are similar to Hillary’s. He supports a pathway to citizenship and also supports DACA. Bernie has also said that, if president, he would use executive action to provide deportation relief to parents of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and DREAMers (Young and his brother are in this group). This would also help keep Young’s family together and eliminate the constant fear that can accompany being undocumented. He has also supported past legislation to allow undocumented students to receive higher education benefits per their state of residence. This might have made college more affordable for Young, and it may have helped his brother to be able to afford post-high school education. (See my post “Why Not In-State…”).

Immigration can seem like an abstract concept, but for me especially, immigration is not about politics or some sort of ideological battle. It’s personal.  Decisions that are made need to consider the impacts on real people, with real relationships, and real lives.  The outcome of this election has the potential to greatly impact Young, his family, and me. As a non-citizen Young can’t vote, but I certainly will be.

A Thanksgiving Reflection

For Thanksgiving, Young and I went to visit his parents. Young’s parents aren’t fluent in English, and I do not speak any Korean, aside from a few words here and there. One of my favorite memories from this Thanksgiving was Young, Young’s mom, and me all sitting around the kitchen table late at night, snacking on Korean pears and chestnuts while having conversations in a combination of broken Korean and broken English. Every so often Young’s mom would temporarily stop and the conversation and quiz me on the Korean words she had been teaching me. She pointed to her head, her ear, her mouth etc. and I tried my best to recite the Korean word for each. I love learning languages, and I am especially eager to learn to Korean.holding hands in grass

I don’t normally give much thought to the fact that Young and I would technically be considered to be a multi-cultural relationship. For Young and I’s relationship, multi-culturalness is not something that stands out awkwardly from the relationship. Rather it feels natural and is readily blended in.


However, this blog is giving me the opportunity to reflect on this idea a bit more. Each person’s relationship and experience with culture is different, and I can only speak from my personal perspective. So using my experiences at Thanksgiving as a frame, below I share my perspective on things I may do more of, or do in different ways, in my relationship with Young.

Be open to different ways of doing things.

For example, on Thanksgiving Day Young’s family and I did not watch the Macy’s Day Parade or the National Dog Show. Instead of having what would be considered a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we enjoyed many Korean traditional dishes. Some of my favorites from the day were Jap Chae, bean sprouts, and fluffy egg. Young’s parents run a restaurant, so needless to say everything was amazing.

jap chae 3.jpg
This isn’t the Jap Chae Young’s mom made, but it looks pretty close!

If had had been unwilling to this different way of celebrating, or disappointed by it, I would not only have possibly hurt Young and his family, but I also would have missed out on a wonderful day.

I think being open to different ways of doing things makes many parts of life more enjoyable, and I think this is especially evident in a multi-cultural relationship.

Be willing to learn and be engaged.

It is one thing to accept and be aware of differences in culture, but for me, I don’t think my relationship with Young and his family could be as rich if I were merely an observer. For my relationship with Young, I have been able to demonstrate my appreciation of and interest in Korean culture by engaging further when I can and when appropriate.

At mealtimes, I tried my best to use chopsticks. I always knew which place seating was mine because his mom also kindly provided me a fork- just in case!

When speaking, I tried to integrate as much of my newly learned Korean vocabulary as possible.

When Young’s family would all speak in Korean, I could have just zoned out. But I didn’t. I listened. I listened hard with my ears and my eyes.  I listened for the rate of speech, the tone of voice, the volume and I watched facial expressions and body movements. I was even able to pick up on what was being talked about sometimes.

Be humble.

I don’t bring the attitude of “Teach me! I must learn now!” I am not going to force anyone to share their culture with me. Culture can be a very personal part of our lives and I I feel very humbled by their willingness to share in that with me. I am eager to learn, but I let Young and his family take the lead, including me in ways that feel right to them.

Be patient.

It’s ok to not always understand exactly what is being said or what is going on. I do not allow myself to become frustrated with myself or with others when I don’t understand. Uncertainty is ok.

Holidays, food, and language are a very visible part of culture, but culture goes so much deeper than that. Most of what comprises culture can’t necessarily be seen on the surface, and in this way, it can be viewed as an Iceberg.


Culture is like an iceberg. Most of what is there isn’t visible on the surface.


I am always learning more about Korean culture. Culture is deep, and I think it is highly unlikely, and unreasonable, to expect to fully understand it overnight, or ever. In fact, even as part of a culture you may not totally understand it.  And that’s ok.

So to, wrap up, this week I challenge you to be a little extra open, to enrich your life experiences by trying something new. It doesn’t have to be big.  It could even be as simple as trying a Korean pear (which I would highly recommend – they are delicious!), but it should be something that
pushes you beyond the realm of your usual routines and decisions. If you want, let me know how it goes by leaving me a comment. I look forward to hearing from you!


korean pear
The delicious Korean pear!

Andy Carvin’s Distant Witness

As part of my social media class we are reading Andy Carvin’s book Distant Witness, which is focused on the numerous revolutions and uprisings that took place in Northern Africa distant witnessand the Middle East during 2011. However, the style of Carvin’s book is different than what you may expect from a book documenting recent events.  His book is not from his own eye-witness perspective, nor is it a compilation of facts based on research and interviews conducted after the event passes, as are many books about historical events. Rather, Carvin’s book reflects a new way of reporting that he crafted during the Arab Spring.

During the many revolutions and protests he communicated to the world the realities of what was happening. Via Twitter and social media he was able to directly communicate with the people involved who were expressing what was going on via social media. He did not filter or reframe what they were saying. Rather he relayed information “as it was” to the world. Thus, his reporting wasn’t a high level summary of the events that incorporated the views of only a few top level officials. Rather, it was a compilation of many short updates directly from the people involved on the ground. His book portrays events that happened during Arab Spring through this very personal lens of tweets and social media posts, almost like reading a diary.

The chapter I was assigned focused on Bahrain.

bahrain map

The story of uprisings was told through the tweets of people involved on the ground, especially Zainab Al-Khawaja and her family. I would encourage you to read the book for yourself, but if you don’t have time here are five key pieces of information from the chapter that form a brief overview.

  1. Bahraini’s were frustrated with the government, which was run by a Sunni royal family. Most of the population was Shia, and many believed that Sunnis received better treatment by the government. Activists who opposed the government were often imprisoned or tortured.
  1. This unrest led to peaceful, even somewhat celebratory protests in the Lulu Roundabout. Protesters were both Sunni and Shia, and some even brought their families and spent the nights at the roundabout.
Lulu Roundabout
Lulu Roundabout
  1. A couple of days in to the protest, the Bahrain government began to attack the peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets. The attack happened around 3 AM Bahrain time. Carvin first learned of the attack via Twitter and monitored the situation by reading tweets.   The use of hashtags such as #lulu helped organize the protesters and the tweets.
  1. During the weeks following this incident, Zainab Al-Khawaja’s father, husband, and brothers in law were forcibly removed from their home, beaten, and jailed by the Bahrain government. Zainab Al-Khawaja witness their beatings and reported all of it on Twitter. Her father is a human rights activist.
Protesters at the Roundabout
Protesters at the Roundabout
  1. After this Zainab Al-Khawaja did not retreat. Her involvement continued to grow. At one point she went into the road to block a convoy of security vehicles by standing in their way. They had to wait for female officers to arrive to arrest her, giving other protesters time to escape.  According to Carvin, Zainab Al-Khawaja continued to be arrested and in and out of jail after the publication of Distant Witness.

The chapter concluded with another arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja as she sought to visit her father who was still imprisoned.

Currently Andy Carvin is still involved in sharing information from the frontlines around the world.  After working at NPR, he went on to found, a website with new updates from all over the world. He continues to share information in his style of personal accounts from people involved in the ongoing unrest in Northern African, the Middle East, and most recently the civil war in Syria.

“Seedlings” Taking Root on the Big Screen

BWFF flyerWhen you think of Northern Wisconsin, you probably think of a cold wintry wonderland, not a place of food production and gathering. However, a series of short films at the Big Water Film Festival highlighted the very real abundance of the Northwoods. Entitled “Seedlings” the short films each focused on a different aspect of harvest taking place in Northern Wisconsin, from the gathering of wild rice by the Ojibwe people to collecting of crops by local farmers.

The short films in “Seedlings” were made by current undergraduate students at Northland College. Some of the students had made films before, and for others it was a totally new experience.

As a Northland student myself, it was a pleasure to see the work of my peers being showcased at the festival and to see the style of each student filmmaker come through. After the compilation was shown, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions of the student filmmakers who were then able to share more information about the process of editing and creating film.

“Seedlings” Film by Northland College student Axel Peterman

After the showing I spoke with one of the filmmakers, Marissa Olsen, and she described how much preparation and work went in to preparing even a short film, saying, “To give you an idea of how long this took, we spent a minimum of 3 hours at each farm we went to and we visited three different farms for the film. Once we had all the footage we needed, the tedious process of editing began.”

However, with great effort came great reward. Marissa also described to me what it was like to have her film shown at the festival, “I have attended the Big Water Film Festival the last three years, so it was exciting to finally have a piece to share. There were a lot of nerves right before it started playing, wondering what people would think of it. At the same time it felt really good to finally be showing it to an audience after putting so much work into it.” She plans on potentially incorporating filmmaking into her career and described this experience as invaluable.

Feeling bad you missed out on “Seedlings”? Not to worry. The films of “Seedlings” are laying the groundwork for a full-length documentary that students will be helping to create this winter called “From Wisconsin with Love”, so stay tuned for more!

Small Town, Big Festival

bwff logoOn November 4th the Alvord Theater at Northland College found itself packed with an eager audience, all eyes affixed to a blank white screen on center stage. This was the venue for the “sneak preview” of the annual Big Water Film Festival (BWFF). Started in 2008, the festival aims to bring films “as fresh as the water of Lake Superior” to viewers in the the Chequamegon Bay area. The BWFF, which took place from November 4-8 this year, shows features, shorts, documentaries, and animations from the region and from around the world.At Northland College, the night’s line up consisted of five films ranging in themes from wolves to local food harvests.

Enhancing the festival was the presence of several of the filmmakers who each engaged with the audience after the showing of their respective films. The crowd in the Alvord Theater that night did not hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to experience the more personal aspects of filmmaking. Questions were asked about the filmmakers’ passions, motives, and techniques.

The “sneak preview” at Northland College was followed by three more full days of film showings in Ashland, Wisconsin. At the end of the festival, films were presented with various awards, including an Audience Favorite award which was determined by audience votes.

Trailer for BWFF Honorable Mention, “Taking Alcatraz”, that was part of the sneak preview.

Looking at a Classmate’s Blog

My blog was created as part of a college course I am taking this semester. All of my classmates are also creating blogs, and each of us was tasked with reading and engaging with one of the blog’s of a classmate.

I had the pleasure of exploring the blog “Team Todd Outdoors”, which is about hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors in the northern Midwest.

team todd

Not interested in hunting and fishing? Please continue reading! I also would not consider myself to be particularly interesting in hunting and fishing. However, I really enjoyed reading Tyler’s (the author) posts. Here’s why.

First, his interest and passion for hunting comes through in his writing. He shares his personal mistakes, successes, and offers tips to others, even offering bits of humor along the way. His posts range from quick tips for hunters to longer personal narratives about specific experiences. Each of his posts, even the more technical ones, has personal elements, making them more relatable that if you were to do a quick google search on hunting.


Breaking up the text of his posts are his own pictures, each one adding beautiful color and imagery to the blog. He even includes photos from his outdoor wildlife cameras. One of my favorite posts of his so far includes a video from his go-pro camera that he wore during an early morning waterfowl hunt. Don’t worry – it isn’t a gory hunting video. It is actually rather beautiful as it captures the early morning out on the water.

As a non-hunter, most of the comments I left on his blog were focused on learning more. I know very little about hunting, and, although I have no intention of taking up hunting, his posts make me want to learn more. For example, I was curious what is done with the harvest and asked if his family eats it. He wrote an interesting post about a pheasant hunt , and I was especially curious if they eat the pheasants. I was surprised to find a rather long list of pheasant recipes online! He also mentioned bringing his dog with him on a duck hunt. I would be interested in learning more about the role of the dog in the hunt. Does the dog have special training to hunt ducks or is the dog just along for the ride?

Video of a dog carrying a duck

Now, you also may be wondering why I would be interested in this, and how his blog could possibly relate to mine. Immigration and outdoor sports are two very different topics. But I think what is important here is to look beyond the topic and look at the style. Tyler draws on his personal experiences to write about hunting and the outdoors. Telling his personal stories adds value that cannot be found simply by reading facts about hunting. This is very similar to my blog. Yes, there is lots of information online about immigration, but reading about it from a more personal experience gives the information a real-world context, just like Tyler’s blog does.  So next time, before you shy away from a blog because you aren’t necessarily interested in the topic, keep in mind that hearing the personal side just might make it more interesting.

Why Not In-State Tuition for DACA Recipients?

Young and I are college students. He is pursuing a graduate degree and I am finishing up my undergraduate work. We both agree that our education has, and will continue to, positively impact our lives in a big way, from the ways in which we view the world to our future earning power. My younger sister is in college now too, and I am excited for the opportunities her education will help create for her. Young has a younger sibling too, a brother, who has graduated from high school two years ago. He is not in college, even though he knows receiving an education is important.

yay college!

It turns out that the path to higher education can be particularly challenging to navigate as a DACA recipient.

Young is kind of a special case. He graduated high school with a very high GPA and outstanding standardized test scores that helped him earn significant scholarships that made it possible for him to attend college. He worked very hard to find a way to attend school, and he was fortunate in that schoolwork came more naturally to him. Young’s brother is a good student, but he doesn’t have the incredible test scores to help him get the big scholarships that Young did. This has made financing college a challenge.

First, DACA recipients are not able to file the FAFSA and receive federal aid. This means no Pell Grants and no subsidized loans. Most, but not all, states also prohibit DACA recipients from receiving state aid. For example, in the state Young and his brother lived in there was a state program that would permit high school graduates to attend two years of community college for free if they met certain academic and community service requirements. Both Young and his brother met the requirements of this program, except they didn’t get this benefit. The other primary requirement was to be a U.S. citizen.

sorry not for you

A second challenge was that not all states allow DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition. If a state doesn’t allow DACA students to pay the in-state rate, the students then must pay the out of state or international student tuition rate, which is usually double the cost of in-state tuition.

Well, why doesn’t his brother just move to one of the states that does offer in-state tuition, work for a year to two, become a resident of that state, and then apply for school? This is an option is brother is researching, but it isn’t so simple. Most of the states that have in-state tuition for DACA recipients require that the student graduated from high school in that state. Young’s brother already graduated from high school in a state that does not have a policy that assures in-state tuition to DACA recipients.

What I ask is, “What reason is there not to offer in-state tuition to DACA recipients?”

An education can change a persons’ life, and I would assert that we as a society collectively benefit from being able to educate as many of our members as we can.

One might argue that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes and thus should not receive this benefit of in-state tuition. However, the idea that DACA recipients don’t pay taxes simply isn’t true. Young and his brother pay state and federal incomes taxes, sales taxes, and they would pay property taxes if they owned property.

It is also important to remember that Young and his brother, like other DACA recipients, did not choose to come to the U.S. They were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents. The U.S. is their home now, and they should not be limited and or penalized for a decision they did not make. Why not make it more possible for motivated students, like Young’s brother, to contribute to our society in more ways? Offering in state tuition would make a large impact in the life of Young’s brothers, and the thousands of other students in similar positions.

For now, Young’s brother is working at a restaurant, trying to save up money and figure out how he can attend college.

Being able to pay in-state tuition would help.

DACA: It’s a Big Deal

Young and I are lucky. Although Young doesn’t have legal permanent residency status in the United States, he, and the two of us as a couple, have been able to lead a relatively normal life due to a policy called DACA.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) is a policy that was put in place by an executive order from President Obama in 2012.  In short, this policy allows people who immigrated illegally to the U.S. as children and who meet other specific requirements to apply for temporary exemption from deportation and other benefits.

This policy has dramatically changed Young’s life and has a significant impact on us as a couple.

DACA grants temporary exemption from deportation. This adds a degree of stability to our relationship and is of great comfort to both of us.  However, if DACA were ever repealed, he would no longer be exempt from deportation.

DACA provides a social security number. It may not always seem like it, but having a social security is a requirement for certain regular activities of life, especially financial ones. Want a credit card? You need to provide a social security number. A bank account?  Social security number.  A job? Social security number. You get the picture. It is important to note that a social security number is not citizenship. The social security number given to those who qualify for DACA can only be used for specific purposes such as those listed above.

DACA allows Young to work legally in the United States. DACA has granted Young what is called “work authorization” that he renews every two years. If Young were unable to work, not only could this be challenging financially, but also emotionally. We would have to decide if he should try to seek out cash jobs “underground” or if we would rely on my income alone. Keep in mind that this is a reality for undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for DACA.I can only imagine how frustrating it would for both of us to see his potential limited by this, not to mention the power dynamics in the relationship that could arise out of financial dependency.

DACA permits Young to have a driver’s license.  The United States is not known for having extensive networks of public transportation, especially not in rural areas. Driving is often necessity of life, whether it is for going to work, running to the grocery store, or visiting family.  Having a license allows Young to complete these daily tasks independently.

In short, DACA has allowed Young to begin to come out of the shadows, and it has been an extremely important component of Young’s ability and our ability as a couple to lead a relatively “normal” life.

feet and shadows

(Video – “Dreamer: DACA allows me to live a normal life”)

However, there are a few important things that DACA doesn’t do.

DACA does not make Young a legal permanent resident of the U.S. Although his presence in the U.S. is not currently considered unlawful under DACA, it does not change his actual residency status as an undocumented immigrant. Without DACA, his presence would be considered unlawful.

DACA doesn’t not provide a path to citizenship. Young  and I are pursuing his permanent residency and citizenship through our marriage, which is an avenue that exists independent of DACA. (However, this is an option that is not available to everyone who has DACA, as I will explain in later posts). Also, DACA does not offer our application preferential treatment or accelerate its processing.

DACA doesn’t provide long-term security. DACA is not a permanent solution as implied by the name itself, “deferred action”. If something is deferred, it means it is being set aside to be handled later. A change in political leadership could result in DACA being repealed.

Young applied for and was granted DACA before the start of our relationship. In fact, before I started dating Young, I had no idea what DACA was or that it even existed, despite the incredible impact it has had on the lives of thousands of people. Now, it is difficult, and actually frightening, to think of my life without DACA. It is amazing how my perspective has changed now that immigration has become personal.

This post was meant to provide a brief overview of DACA and some of the ways it has impacted Young and me. It is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the policy. To learn more about the details of DACA and about whether or not you would qualify, please visit the USCIS website or consult with a qualified immigration lawyer.

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