Koream Journal, News Analysis, Eugene Yi, Posted: Dec 11, 2012
Autumn in Los Angeles. Thoughts across the Southland turned to pigskin as the big UCLA-USC game approached. And on one particular day, some Trojans saw fit to express their allegiance by spray painting genitalia around the UCLA sign.
“It’s childish, but [the rivalry’s] fun,” said Michelle Yoon, a junior at UCLA, during the 30-minute window she had in her day between a meeting with an advisor and work in an infant research lab. She’s wearing a UCLA sweatshirt and whimsical shoes as we sit by the campus’ Inverted Fountain, which had been shut down to discourage other pranksters. It all seems very collegiate and, well, normal.
It’s perhaps this promise of normalcy that made our conversation feel somehow momentous. Yoon is an undocumented immigrant, born to Korean parents in Argentina, and has spent much of her life in fear of deportation. But now, with her application for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program nearly complete, she’ll have a renewable work permit. For the first time in her life here, she’ll be legal.
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