Supporting DACA Team Members: A Guide for Employers
Concrete ways employers can support their DACA-impacted employees, interns and contractors in a time of uncertainty
IN REGARDS TO THE UPCOMING SUPREME COURT CASE ON DACA
The Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments on November 12 regarding the prolonged legal battle over the Trump administration's efforts to end DACA. In two of the cases, the Court will decide 1) whether the decision to rescind the DACA program is reviewable and, if so 2) whether the decision to end the program was lawful. During this time, it is imperative to encourage and ensure that all of your DACA eligible employees to renew their work permits.
Employers can engage and show their support in a variety of ways. Below is a list of recommendations:
- Make sure DACA recipients know that the nationwide injunctions remain in place and encourage eligible DACA recipients to consult a lawyer and consider submitting renewals as soon as possible.
- Fund employees’ DACA renewal fees and encourage them to consider applying right now.
- Sign onto the upcoming business amicus brief led by the Coalition for the American Dream
- Perform a company-wide showcase of solidarity on November 12th, the day the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for the case.
- Film and share brief videos with company C-suite executives showing organizational or individual support of Dreamers with the support of FWD.us.
- Show your support on social media; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Write and submit an Opinion piece to local news outlet or publication.
- Check out this guide for further instructions.
- Support local organizations and nonprofits hosting renewal workshops or scholarships.
- Find a list of recommended organizations here.
- Publically share how you’re engaging and supporting DACA
SEE EXAMPLES OF PAST SUPPORT FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY BELOW
Christopher Padilla, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM
“IBM employs more than 30 Dreamers working in a variety of roles, from software engineering to analytics and technical support. They contribute to our company and help to drive innovation and excellence at IBM. In fact, one of our Dreamers recently worked around-the- clock remote shifts to ensure continuity of IBM services when Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston. “IBM is actively urging Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to enable Dreamers to stay in the United States. We have also urged the court in this case to find that DACA’s revocation was unfounded. The program is due to begin phasing out in less than five months, and we are committed to providing as much stability and predictability as possible to DACA recipients who work at IBM.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley
“The original DACA program announced in 2012 was premised on sound public policy, and unlike DAPA, it was not challenged in court. Individuals enrolled in good faith and became ingrained in our communities and the nation’s economy. To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country."
“With approximately 700,000 DACA recipients working for all sorts of businesses across the country, terminating their employment eligibility runs contrary to the president’s goal of growing the U.S. economy."
“We ask that the administration and the Congress work together to quickly find a legislative solution before the program expires.”
“In a note to employees, meanwhile, Apple
CEO Tim Cook similarly said he is “deeply dismayed” by Trump’s decision — and pledged the company would “work with members of Congress from both parties to advocate for a legislative solution that provides permanent protections for all the Dreamers in our country.”
Cook also said the company would provide the roughly 250 at Apple affected by the decision with the “support they need, including the advice of immigration experts.”
“On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake; on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again,” Cook said in the note obtained by Recode.”
Airbnb is proud to stand w/ the Coalition for the American Dream to pass H.R.6—The Dream and Promise Act. This vital legislation would create an earned pathway to citizenship for 2.5million Dreamers & TPS holders. Now is the time to act #DreamAndPromiseNow https://t.co/qEuD8us4hi— Airbnb Citizen (@AirbnbCitizen) June 4, 2019
For more detailed ways to support your DACA employees outside of the Supreme Court Case decision in the everyday work environment, please review the suggestions and resources below.
- Provide financial assistance for DACA renewal application processes. A DACA renewal application is $495, not including preparation costs (legal consultation, postage and other materials).
- These costs can be prohibitive to the employee, and it is within an employer’s rights and interest to provide this service. If an employment authorization document (EAD) expiration date is nearing and your employee has not yet received his/her renewal, contact your U.S. Senator or Representative and request that they work with USCIS to expedite the application. Among other reasons, a basis to request expedited processing of a request is severe financial loss to company or person. Please note that employees have no legal obligation to inform you of the expiration date on their EAD.
- Expedite criteria
- Offer immigration legal assistance/counsel to immigration-impacted employees, contractors, and family members of employees, including spouses, parents, siblings, etc. (using outside counsel to avoid potential conflicts). Assistance can include legal defense of employees who are detained or encounter other legal troubles arising from losing protection from deportation (i.e., their DACA status and ancillary work authorization).
- Arrange employee-centered, supportive offboarding programs for employees unable to renew their work authorization and who are forced to leave the workplace. Review existing company policies to determine if affected employees can receive separation benefits, including accrued sick leave,vacation leave balances, and continuation of health benefits. Consider what health care benefits can be extended despite termination.
- Assuming the employer has an employee assistance program (EAP), remind immigration- impacted employees of available mental health resources.
- If your company does not already have existing EAPs in place, make a list of in- network mental health service providers for easy access - and if superior options are only offered out of network, cover the difference.
- Host a regular call with senior management, HR, and directly affected individuals to ensure that the company is being attentive to employees’ needs.
- Host Know Your Rights trainings during work hours for all staff that cover an individual’s rights when interacting with law or immigration enforcement at home, in public spaces, and in the workplace. Consider using outside counsel to host this training.
- Establish, communicate, and implement company protocol to protect employee rights should immigration enforcement visit the work site or request employee information from managers. Employers can take these steps while simultaneously ensuring they observe their own legal obligations.
- Plans should include employees’ emergency contact list, attorney’s contact information, family contact, and alien numbers as necessary.
- Make all trainings and resources on immigration and rights widely known and available to all staff, and clearly designate an HR Point of Contact for anyone looking for additional resources or assistance (including legal assistance) to access confidentially.
- Be sensitive to people’s differing levels of comfort with being public about their immigration status. Never “out” somebody to coworkers or speak about somebody’s immigration status with others if that individual has not made explicitly clear that they consent to this information being shared.
SOLIDARITY AND SERVICE
- Commit company or contracted lawyer’s hours to provide in-house, pro-bono legal assistance at local immigrant-serving organizations. You can find a list of organizations here.
- Join the ‘I Stand With Immigrants’ initiative to promote solidarity throughout the calendar year and publicly showcase your support for immigrants/ immigration reform.
- Publish a blog post on immigrant contributions within the company/organization
- E.g.: Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month in June
- Collaborate or support internal collaborators who partner with immigrant-serving community organizations to offer volunteer and/or mentoring hours that capitalize on company or employee strengths and expertise
- E.g.: Employees from a financial institution conduct a financial literacy workshop with an immigrant-serving community organization and its members
- Support Informed Immigrant's work with local organizations providing immigration legal services
- Sponsor a legal services clinic for immigration and consular services
- Donate to a Know Your Rights card fund for local immigrant-serving
organizations. KYR cards (example) have prevented civil rights violations of
undocumented individuals in the past.
- Sponsor a local know your rights training for a school, faith group, youth group or other community organization