TAPPING INTO DREAMERS TO BOLSTER A WORKFORCE
By Paul February 24, 2021
DREAMers are undocumented immigrants who came to this country at a young age and have grown up in America.
“They have attended our K-12 schools and colleges and are a part of our communities,” explains Candy Marshall, who leads TheDream.US, a college success and career program for DREAMers.
Marshall explains that DREAMers with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) have renewable two-year employment authorization documents (“work authorizations”) that allow them to legally work.
Still, many businesses and organizations are unclear about their ability to hire DREAMers who have DACA or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
“Often,” she says, “employers believe that they will have to ‘sponsor’ these DREAMers—a lengthy process that is expensive. In fact, employers are able to hire a DREAMer just as they would a U.S. citizen. The only difference is that a DREAMer will present an ‘employment authorization document’ instead of a social security card.”
In addition, Marshall says that many employers are surprised to learn that it is actually unlawful to refuse to hire DREAMers who have work authorization and that employers cannot ask about their immigration status.
“DREAMers with DACA are secure in their ability to legally work and renew their work authorizations,” Marshall says.
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