DACA/DREAM Frontera Fund News

What Employers Need to Know About the End of DACA

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Carmen Cornejo
Written by Carmen Cornejo

The end of DACA is unfair. If it really happens, it would deprive our economy of young and great workers.

Trump, as crazily unpredictable as he is, has dramatically shifted his position on immigrant youth several times – from harsh campaign rhetoric to more compassionate language to harsh rhetoric again.

DACA-DREAMers, the immigrant youth who lack a path to legalization but were granted a temporary, renewable deportation deferment and work permit for two years by President Obama, find themselves facing the prospect of losing DACA and their jobs starting March 6, 2018.

This created crisis represents economic problems not only for young immigrants but also for their employers. Human Resources managers are worrying about how this delicate issue can be addressed properly.

What is the role of an employer in this situation? Experts suggest the following:

1. Brace yourself for dealing with the fallout. An average of 30,000 people will be out of work each month if there is no fix for DACA through Congressional legislation or a court challenge, according to the Center for American Progress and FWD.us. At this point nothing is certain.

2. The DACA phase-out will affect all types of business, from big corporations to government,  education, small businesses, construction, and health services. DACA-DREAMers are a young and ready workforce in diverse industries, with diverse educational levels.

3. Right to work. All employees with a valid work permit (Employment Authorization Document) and/or proper documentation have the unrestricted right to work. Refer to document I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for guidelines and the list of such documents.

4. Employers should not assume a person with an expiring work permit (Employment Authorization Document) is a DACA beneficiary. Review I-9 records to validate which employees’ work authorizations are expiring. There are other categories of immigrants receiving those documents. If an employer asks an employee if he or she has DACA, it may be considered discriminatory. Do not single anyone out.

5. You can determine your employees’ work eligibility by checking the I-9 on file. It is essential for employers to keep records of this form.

6. When a person’s eligibility to work documentation is about to expire, employers should send a letter or email giving the individual three days to present updated work authorization documentation.

7. If your employee does not meet the email or letter deadline, he or she needs to ethically and politely resign or you must terminate her or his employment.

Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund will keep you updated on this and other developments.