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.
Read more about Why TFA Supports DACA.
Our DACAmented Network
Where DACA Recipients Teach
Today, we have about 240 DACAmented leaders in our network, reaching thousands of students across several states.
Corps members who are DACA recipients have taught in 25 regions:
- West: The Bay Area, California Capital Valley, Colorado, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington State, Las Vegas Valley
- Southwest: Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, New Mexico, Phoenix, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio
- Midwest: Chicago–Northwest Indiana, Milwaukee, Southwest 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 are devastated by the announcement to rescind DACA and the negative impact it will have on thousands of young people, including the students of about 240 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. We will continue to do so until we know more about their ability to work in classrooms and pursue teaching certifications.
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 February 28, 2020, unless it becomes apparent there is no viable employment pathway for DACA recipients.
All DACA applicants will have to 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 2020 corps. This includes resources and support regarding:
- Regional assignment
- Making the decision to join the 2020 corps
- Any other questions that may occur during the application process
If the pathway for employment and certification is still uncertain by April 24, 2019, admitted applicants will be given the option to defer their offers to the corps. Please see “Deferrals to the 2020/2021 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 California, you have until March 18 to accept your offer; if you’ve been assigned to any other region (not in California), you will have until April 15.
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 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
If a legislative solution does not pass by May 2019 or if your DACA status expires before May 2021, applicants admitted to the 2019 corps will be able to defer their offers for up to two years, with a guaranteed spot in the 2020 or 2021 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 2019).
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. For more information about TFA’s response to recent DACA legislation, see our statement on the BRIDGE Act and the Bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017.
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.
The Trump administration is winding down DACA protections, though details on the process are not immediately clear. News reports indicate that new applications will not be processed, but that renewals will be processed for a limited time. This means existing work permits and protections will expire based on recipients’ renewal date, between 2018 and 2020.
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 2020 corps. We are committed to supporting DACA applicants through the application, corps member, and alumni experience.
No matter your citizenship status, you must have at least a 2.50 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor’s degree by June to be a qualified candidate. 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.
Not all of our regions can currently place DACA recipients because of hiring and certification requirements. You can review regions that are currently able to accept DACA recipients above.
While there is no guarantee that any corps member will receive an AmeriCorps education award, the funding is only granted to U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. DACA recipients are not eligible to receive AmeriCorps benefits.
For the 2018 corps year, ultimately all corps members were able to receive the AmeriCorps education award despite reduced Congressional appropriations for AmeriCorps, and we were also able to grant the equivalent of the AmeriCorps education award to all DACA recipients.
Teach For America will attempt to provide DACA eligible corps members with the same opportunities for an education award as all other corps members. However, as a nonprofit with limited resources, at this time we cannot guarantee these opportunities will be available to any corps member (whether or not they are part of DACA).
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 the appropriate legal assistance to ensure you are able to apply for a renewal. It will be your responsibility to work with your regional staff and contact our Legal Affairs team about the schedule, making sure our legal team has enough time to work on the necessary steps.
The Trump administration announced on September 5, 2017, its decision to rescind the DACA program. States and DACA recipients immediately filed suit in federal court challenging this action and three federal district court orders allow DACA recipients to continue to submit renewal applications until further notice, and our experience is that DACA EAD renewals are continuing on the regular timeline.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not, however, accept initial DACA applications. This means that if you have never been granted DACA status your application will not be considered. On June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will grant the Trump administration’s request to review the lower courts’ rulings regarding the termination of DACA. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on November 12, 2019, and a potential ruling is expected in June 2020. It’s important to note, that while the cases are before the Supreme Court, DACA EAD renewals will continue per the lower courts’ rulings and Congress has the authority to act on this issue.
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.