Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA” was introduced in 2012, more than half a million applicants have received deferred action. Receiving deferred action allows these individuals to live and work in the United States without fear of being deported. To qualify for the program the applicant must have been:
- under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012,
- arrived in the U.S. prior to the age of 16
- Either currently in school or completed high school or the equivalent;
- and have continuously resided in the United States since 2007;
Here is more information about the DACA program.
Teach for America and other employers have indicated that they actually seek out deferred-action recipients. Employers realize that previously undocumented immigrants have a unique perspective. These individuals are often very grateful for the opportunity to work legally, and take full advantage by working extremely hard. Co-CEO of Teach for AmericaVillanueva Beard said “her organization decided to reach out specifically to deferred-action recipients because it fits with their philosophy to boost young people’s access and equity,” and that “It’s critical for us to create pathways for more people of color to enter the teaching force.” Another organization that has a career recruitment program for DACA recipients is BB&T bank.
It is encouraging to see these opportunities open up to the DACA recipients. Nevertheless, there are still many people who are eligible for DACA, but are still living in the United States illegally. Perhaps hearing of these lawful employment opportunities and the success of others in a similar situation will encourage the hundreds of thousands of eligible individuals to apply for DACA.