Newark, NJ- Young immigrants in New York will have more professional opportunities after the state Board of Regents approved a permanent measure earlier this year. The decision allows young undocumented immigrants, who qualify for deportation relief under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to apply for teacher certifications and other professional licenses.
In February 2016, after a preliminary public comment period, the New York Board of Regents approved a permanent measure that will remove some professional barriers for DACA recipients. As long as individuals who qualify for DACA meet the educational requirements of the license or certification they are seeking, these young immigrants will be allowed to apply for teacher certifications, doctor and medical licenses, law licenses and more.
Many DACA recipients spend most of their lives in the U.S., attend public schools, colleges or universities in America. They get their professional degrees, hoping to enter the profession of their choice and become contributing members of American society, but they run into barriers because of their undocumented status. Their undocumented status stands in their way of working in occupations where they are needed, but the decision from the Board of Regents changes that and now paves the way for them to become professionals.
Members of the board believe the measure is a wise move for the state and will allow them to fill positions where the state is experiencing shortfalls such as bilingual teachers. Board members said that DACA recipients can help serve the state’s large immigration population, many of which are not native English speakers.
Allowing DACA recipients obtain to professional licenses, and certifications will have an economic benefit for New York and New Jersey the board members believe. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said of the ruling, “By opening up the doors to economic advancement to these young people, we’re once again showing that our nation—and our state—remains a land of opportunity for all.”
DACA is a program adopted by the Obama administration in 2012 which gave young immigrants with undocumented status the opportunity to avoid deportation and obtain a work permit as long as they entered the U.S. before age 16. This special immigration status gives these young immigrants reprieve from deportation and allows them to continue living in the country they call home, but it is not a legal immigration status.
Since DACA is a temporary program it could be eliminated in 2017 when a new president takes office, so it’s important for those thinking of applying, and those currently holding DACA to follow this issue and make sure to understand the pros and cons of each decision. As an immigration attorney, I can help you apply for DACA, a visa or fight deportation. I have helped immigrants in New York, Newark, and throughout New Jersey.
I am admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey which allows me to help you with your immigration issue in either state. I’m also an experienced criminal defense attorney, so if you are an immigrant who is also facing a criminal charge, I can help you avoid mistakes that will jeopardize your immigration status.