Obama Policy Authorizes Some Undocumented Youth to Work

This school year SF YouthWorks is looking forward to the possibility of working with undocumented youth, who have previously been excluded from workforce development programs like ours due to not being able to obtain work documents. This past June the Obama Administration announced a new plan that will will assist some undocumented youth in getting work permits.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, is a new program that grants qualifying youth a temporary two-year stay in the United States. Applicants who demonstrate an “economic necessity” may be eligible for a work card through DACA.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the U.S before their 16th birthday
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces

Visit the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

While many questions have risen about how exactly DACA will be administered, resources are popping up to help youth take advantage of this new program. Two local organizations offer free legal assistance to help those applying for DACA. API Legal Outreach offers a monthly legal clinic in Oakland and San Francisco.  Catholic Charities CYO- Refugee & Immigration Services offers legal clinics every Wednesday at 10am and 2pm.

For more information on navigating DACA, check out Educators for Fair Consideration who have created a great guide to understanding DACA.