The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an acknowledgment that people who have been raised in the United States and are American in every sense of the word (except for their formal immigration status) should have protection against deportation and access to basic opportunities like applying for jobs, working legally, opening bank accounts, and obtaining a driver’s license. Not only should these individuals be able to do these things, but they are entitled to do them without enduring immigration status discrimination.
While DACA, and other immigration statuses like Temporary Protected Status (TPS), are not a replacement for much needed immigration reform, they provide important rights against discrimination in the workplace, in housing, and in seeking lending and credit products. Unfortunately, due to confusion about the law or outright bigotry (or both), discrimination in these settings against DACA recipients and other immigrants continues to occur all too often.
If you have DACA or TPS and you have experienced discrimination based on your citizenship status in the United States, Outten & Golden can help. Our immigration status discrimination lawyers have brought path-breaking lawsuits on behalf of DACA recipients, challenging discrimination by companies who previously denied opportunities to Dreamers and others.
What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the United States?
DACA was formed to protect young immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation, and it also provides Dreamers with the right to work lawfully in the United States, contribute to the economy, and provide for themselves and their families.
Initially implemented during the Obama-Biden administration in 2012, DACA protects from removal (deportation) undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements.
To qualify for DACA, the individual must:
• have been brought to the US as a child;
• have no criminal record;
• have stayed in school or served in the military; and
• pass a background check.
If approved, the DACA recipient receives a renewable two-year relief from deportation and work authorization. An important component in providing authorization to work, DACA status should provide authorization for employment without citizenship status discrimination in most cases.
Congress created Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 1990. It is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain designated countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS provides a work permit and stay of deportation to nationals of those designated countries who are in the United States at the time the U.S. government makes the designation. As of October 2020, there were approximately 411,000 TPS recipients residing in the United States.
Like DACA, TPS also provides for a temporary stay of deportation and authorization to work (without experiencing immigration status discrimination) in the United States.
While the prior presidential administration sought to eliminate, and then severely limit, the DACA program, most of its efforts were found to be illegal by the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed the Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum, preserving this valuable and important protection for a particularly vulnerable population. While litigation challenging the DACA program continues in the courts, DACA is the law of the land and more stable than at any point in the last four years.
It's important to recognize your rights under the DACA and TPS programs to be able to identify employment discrimination based on immigration status if you are faced with it. Individuals with these statuses are allowed to apply for job positions & work legally within the U.S, obtain driver’s licenses, apply for credit cards or loans, open bank accounts, and apply for home mortgages.
If you have DACA status or TPS and you have been denied work or have had your employment rights violated based on your citizenship or immigration status, speak with an immigration status discrimination attorney today to learn more about your rights. All information will be held strictly confidential.
If you have DACA status and your employment or any other rights have been violated, the experienced legal team at Outten & Golden can help. Our team has filed numerous cases around the country on behalf of DACA recipients. We have successfully protected the rights of scores of clients, and we understand the challenges unique to cases involving DACA recipients, TPS recipients, and other employees facing employment discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status.