Join TFA as a DACA recipient and have a profound impact on students around the country while serving as an ally and role model.
Teach For America Supports DACA
There are countless children living in the shadows in our country, being denied the opportunity to pursue an excellent education.
A teacher is often the first adult an undocumented student will ask for help. As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, you know first-hand the concerns that undocumented kids face, whether or not you choose to share your background with students.
Every TFA corps member can be an ally for children, but you can be an additional inspiration and offer guidance based on your background. That’s why we actively recruit DACA recipients for our corps.
Our DACAmented Network
Where DACA Recipients Teach
Today, we have about 300 DACAmented leaders in our network, reaching thousands of students across several states.
Corps members who are DACA recipients can teach in the following 22 regions
- West: Bay Area, Colorado, Los Angeles, Washington State, Las Vegas Valley
- Southwest: Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, New Mexico, Phoenix, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio
- Midwest: Greater Chicago–Northwest Indiana, Milwaukee, Ohio
- Southeast: Memphis, Metro Atlanta, Nashville
- East: New York, D.C. Region, New Jersey
- New England: Connecticut, Massachusetts
“Throughout education, teachers are always asked, ‘why?’ Why do we do this work? My ‘why’ is to provide an outlet of comfort and openness to students—to ensure that students know that someone outside of their home is in their corner. ”
Application Information For DACA Recipients
Since 2013, Teach For America DACA corps members have done incredible work in classrooms across the country. They serve not just as classroom leaders, but as role models to their students. The work they do every day is important and we stand with our DACAmented teachers.
We were devastated by the September 5, 2017, announcement to rescind DACA and the negative impact it has had on thousands of young people, including the students of about 300 DACAmented corps members and alumni. While it is unknown whether Congress will take action to maintain a pathway for DACAmented individuals to work, Teach For America will continue to be open to DACA recipients. On December 4, 2020, a federal judge ordered the federal government to fully reinstate DACA. At Teach For America, we are heartened by this court order, but we understand that a legislative solution with a pathway to citizenship is still necessary.
We are monitoring policy regarding DACA recipients carefully and will share updates as we know them. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding our policies for DACA recipients, please contact DACASupport@teachforamerica.org.
We will continue to accept and review applications from DACA recipients until our final application deadline of March 5, 2021, unless it becomes apparent there is no viable employment pathway for DACA recipients.
All DACA applicants will have the option to work closely with a member of our staff, ensuring they have the necessary support and resources to complete the admissions process for the 2021 corps. This includes resources and support regarding:
- Regional assignment
- Making the decision to join the 2021 corps
- Any other questions that may occur during the application process
If the pathway for employment and certification is still uncertain by April 28, 2021, admitted applicants will be given the option to defer their offers to the corps. Please see “Deferrals to the 2022/2023 Corps” for more detail.
Upon admission to the corps, DACA recipients will be able to share with our assignment team their preferred region and any need they have to be assigned to one particular region (for example, their hometown region or a region close to family).
Assuming their preferred region is able to accept DACA recipients, we will prioritize this region for the corps member.
Learn more about our Placement.
If you have been assigned to the Las Vegas Valley or any region in Texas, you have until March 24 to accept your offer; if you’ve been assigned to any other region, you will have until April 28.
Regardless of regional assignment, all admitted DACA applicants are welcome to confirm their offers earlier, but will not be required to do so. There are benefits to confirming offers earlier, such as accessing financial and legal support for DACA renewals, preparing for certification exams, connecting with other corps members, beginning pre-work, etc. Ultimately though, this decision will be up to you. If you opt to confirm your offer earlier and circumstances change, you will not be penalized and this will not impact your offer to the corps.
Due to the current uncertainty regarding DACA, applicants admitted to the 2021 corps will be able to defer their offers for up to two years, with a guaranteed spot in the 2021 or 2022 corps. Their regional assignments will remain the same whenever possible. Applicants who defer their offer will not need to take any actions until they are able to join the corps (the earliest possible date being May/June 2022).
TFA is committed to accepting DACA recipients into the corps and doing everything we can to anticipate barriers and provide support. Below is more about what we currently know. If you still have questions, please email our DACA support team.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established by President Obama via executive action in June 2012 to provide temporary relief from deportation and two-year work permits to qualified young adults who were brought to the United States as children. DACA unlocked countless economic opportunities for roughly 800,000 young people, 700,000 of whom are in the workforce and pay income taxes. In addition to providing work permits, DACA allows young immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, get health insurance, open bank accounts, pay taxes, enroll in college, take out mortgages and car loans, and provide for their families.
As of December 4, 2020, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. federal government to fully reinstate DACA as it existed prior to the initial attempt to rescind the program in 2017. There is other ongoing litigation that could impact this, and we continue to monitor updates.
At this moment, there is no final decision on the future of DACA, and current DACA recipients are able to renew their protections and work authorizations. As such, we are continuing to recruit DACA recipients into the 2021 and 2022 corps. We are committed to supporting DACA applicants through the application, corps member, and alumni experience.
Yes, DACA recipients who meet all other requirements are eligible to apply to Teach For America. At the time of your final interview, you must be able to provide proof of employment eligibility.
As a DACA recipient, you must have a social security number and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to meet the hiring requirements of our partner schools.
You can review regions that are currently able to accept DACA recipients above.
We do our best to place DACAmented corps members in their strongly preferred regions.
While DACA recipients are not eligible for AmeriCorps funding due to the federal program’s citizenship requirements, Teach For America does provide DACA recipients funding that matches AmeriCorps funding.
You will be able to apply for need-based transitional grants and loans at two points:
- After you receive an invitation to a final interview.
- After being admitted to the corps.
The Corps Member Finances team will be able to help you apply for funding.
If your Employment Authorization Document is set to expire during your two-year commitment to the corps, we will provide legal and financial support.
As of December 4, 2020, a federal judge in Brooklyn has ordered the federal government to fully reinstate DACA. This means that DACA renewals are once again being processed for two-year periods and that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must accept first-time applicants as well. However, there are other ongoing court cases that we continue to monitor.
Resources for Creating Safe Spaces
Creating safe spaces for students is a priority at Teach For America.
All students deserve to attend schools where their intellectual, emotional, and social needs are met and where learning thrives.
To support safe learning environments, we’ve compiled a list of resources for educators who work with students in marginalized communities. Please also see the #HomeIsHere Toolkit for PreK-12 Educators, Leaders, and Policymakers.