All individuals have the right to earn money, even if they are undocumented. Our Dream Team can help you find ways to get your Undocu-Hustle on as an undocumented entrepreneur or explore other income generating ideas and plan for your future career. For more information on upcoming career workshops, navigate to the Dreamers Events page. If you are exploring career options, undecided about your major, or otherwise need assistance with resume and cover letter writing, reach out to Miramar Career Services.
While this page has lots of good information on work authorization and income-earning programs, it is advisable you make an appointment for a consultation with our partners at the Higher Education Legal Services (HELS). It is a FREE services you are entitled to as a Miramar College Dreamer Student. You can schedule an appointment with HELS by phone at (858) 637-3345, by email using email@example.com, or online at www.jfssd.org/HELS.
DACA & Your Workplace Rights
As a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you will be provided an employment authorization document. Also known as an EAD or work permit, the card opens doors to new employment opportunities that were previously not available to you. But you should also be aware of your employment rights. Employers cannot ask DACA recipients for more or different work authorization documentation than what is already permitted by Form I-9. Likewise, an employer cannot reject work authorization documents because of your citizenship status or national origin.
It is your responsibility to maintain your DACA status and the employment authorization that comes with it. If you continue to work for an employer after your EAD has expired, you will be working without authorization. That could lead to problems down the road if DACA recipients are granted a path to legal status. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your DACA status renewed.
Links to further reading: Employment Rights with DACA, National Immigration Law Center: DACA & Your Workplace Rights, National Immigration Law Center: About DACA & Employment.
DSIG: California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program
The California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program (DSIG) encourages California Dream Act Application (CADAA) students with a Cal Grant B award to perform community or volunteer service. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will award up to $3,000 per academic year (up to $1,500 per semester or up to $1,000 per quarter) to 2,500 eligible students. The grant will be available to the student for up to 8 semesters or up to 12 quarters while they have an active Cal Grant B award. Students must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and complete any necessary verification for their Cal Grant B award.
Eligible students must apply annually, attend a qualifying institution, have sufficient unmet financial need, and complete community or volunteer service hours in that academic year. Students shall perform at least 150 hours per semester or 100 hours per quarter of community or volunteer service. Students can volunteer with any of the organization(s) on the List of Service Organizations or with any organization not on the list if it meets the criteria for a qualifying service organization. Organizations not on the List of Service Organizations, can complete and submit the Service Organization Registration form found on the DSIG Forms webpage.
Schedule an appointment if you are interested in participating in the DSIG program at Miramar College!
Alternatives to Employment through entrepreneurship: Everyone, regardless of immigration status, can make money by building their own businesses and working for themselves. We’re here to show you how to generate income through entrepreneurship and freelancing. Contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org for tools to help you get your #UndocuHustle on!
Undocu-Careers and Undocu-Hustle Activity
Becoming an Undocu-preneur: Undocumented Entrepreneurship follows the idea that even undocumented individuals have the right to earn a living and can do so by building their own business or working for themselves. While there are many considerations, this is often the best income generation pathway option for undocumented individuals to pursue.
Our activity workbook, which was adapted from a worksheet offered by Immigrants Rising, will help you discover how you can leverage your talents, and education to become an Undocu-preneur. You will also learn how to earn a living as an independent contractor and as a gig economy worker.
Although the worksheet can be completed on your own, we encourage you to seek out assistance from the Dreamers Support Office or the Career Center. And be on the look out for our Undocu-Career workshops, during which we go through the workbook in a group setting. You can view upcoming events and workshops here.
- Basic Facts About Entrepreneurship
- ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- SSN (Social Security Number)
- Planning a Business
- Financing a Business
- Managing a Business
- Benefits for Immigrant Entrepreneurs
- Funding from Immigrants Rising (flyer)
- Join Entrepreneurs through Immigrants Rising (flyer)
Form I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization: Certain noncitizens who are in the United States may file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Other noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply for an EAD that shows such authorization. For more information and to access form I-765 visit this link: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
It is highly advisable to speak with an attorney that specializes in immigration and employment law before filling out or filing ANY federal forms. Submitting documents to the federal government that misrepresents your documentation status or your right to work, knowingly or unknowingly, can put you in legal jeopardy or at risk for deportation.
The Miramar Dreamers Support Office can refer you to our legal aid partners at the Higher Education Legal Services for FREE. Schedule an appointment today!
E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
E-Verify is a voluntary program. However, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause are required to enroll in E-Verify as a condition of federal contracting. Employers may also be required to participate in E-Verify if their states have legislation mandating the use of E-Verify, such as a condition of business licensing. Finally, in some instances employers may be required to participate in E-Verify as a result of a legal ruling.
E-Verify, which is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, is currently the best means available to electronically confirm employment eligibility.